Identity Theft Help Kit for Victims - What to do if you are a Victim
How to Restore Your Credit if You Are a Victim of Identity Theft or Credit Fraud
If you are a victim of identity theft or credit fraud there are some steps you can take to restore and protect your credit.
1. Request a copy of your credit report from all three national credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and Trans Union). Victims of credit fraud can obtain a free copy of their credit report directly from the 3 agencies. Their addresses and phone numbers are listed below.
2. Identify all the activity on your credit reports that you believe to be fraudulent. Look for aliases and addresses on your report that are unknown to you, or accounts you do not remember opening, and carefully check inquiries into your credit that you did not initiate.
3. Dispute inaccurate or fraudulent information on your credit report with the credit bureau reporting the information. Below is a sample dispute form.
4. Add protective “fraud” statements to your credit record at all three national credit reporting agencies - Equifax, Experian and Trans Union. Fraud statements on your credit report warn potential users of your credit report that you may be or have been a victim of identity fraud. The credit agency addresses and phone numbers are below.
5. Contact your local law enforcement to file a police report on the fraudulent activity and request a case number.
6. Complete the ID Theft Affidavit developed by the Federal Trade Commission. This document can be used to help prove you are not responsible for debts created by the identity thief. A copy of the ID Theft Affidavit is below.
7. Contact the credit grantors/companies that issued the fraudulent credit. You may need to provide information to them including the police report, a copy of your driver’s license, and other documents that confirm the fraud including a copy of the ID Theft Affidavit.. Keep phone and letter documentation so you have a record of who you talked to, when, and what company. Make sure you request written letters from the credit grantors and credit reporting agencies that fraud has been verified.
8. To assist law enforcement in tracking ID Theft, consider filing an Identity Theft Complaint report online with the Federal Trade Commission - Click Here.
9. If you suspect your SSN has been used, contact the Social Security Administration to protect your benefits. 1.800.269.0271
10. Don’t forget to change your bank account number if your checks have been stolen or you suspect that criminals have your account numbers.
P.O. Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30374
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92834
Identity Theft and Your Social Security Number:
Under certain circumstances, the Social Security Administration may issue you a new SSN - at your request - if, after trying to resolve the problems brought on by criminal identity theft, you continue to experience problems. Consider this option carefully. A new SSN may not resolve your identity theft problems, and may actually create new problems. For example, a new SSN does not necessarily ensure a new credit record because credit bureaus may combine the credit records from your old SSN with those from your new SSN. Even when the old credit information is not associated with your new SSN, the absence of any credit history under your new SSN may make it more difficult for you to get credit. And finally, there's no guarantee that a new SSN wouldn't also be misused by an criminal identity thief. The Social Security Administration's web site is http://www.ssa.gov/.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC):
The FTC collects complaints about criminal identity theft from
consumers who have been victimized. Although the FTC does not
have the authority to bring criminal cases, the Commission can
help victims of identity theft by providing information to assist
them in resolving the financial and other problems that can result
from this crime. The FTC also refers victim complaints to other
appropriate government agencies and private organizations for
If you've been a victim of identity theft, file a complaint with the FTC by contacting the FTC's Identity Theft Hotline by telephone: toll-free 1-877-IDTHEFT (438-4338); TDD: 202-326-2502; by mail: Identity Theft Clearinghouse, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580; or online: http://www.consumer.gov/idtheft/.
Fair Credit Reporting Act:
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is the Federal law that applies to most credit reporting issues, including the rights of consumers under law. Most states have state laws similar to the Federal law. A copy of the FCRA is available online on our Fair Credit Reporting Act page.
Identity Theft Affidavit:
The Federal Trade Commission has developed the Identity Theft Affidavit. If you are disputing fraudulent debts and accounts opened by an identity thief, the ID Theft Affidavit now simplifies the process. Instead of completing different forms, you can use the ID Theft Affidavit to alert companies where a new account was opened in your name. The company can then investigate the fraud and decide the outcome of your claim. The form is available at http://www.ftc.gov/
To download the complete Identity Theft Kit Packet Please click here
(PDF file format)