- January 21, 2016
- Mortgage Loan
- 0 Comments
Identity Theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in America today. Here are some of the things you should do immediately after you discover you are a victim.
- File a police report, and if possible, an Affidavit of Forgery (the police don’t always do this) and obtain a copy
- Cancel all credit card accounts
- Contact all three credit bureaus to put “Fraud Alert” in your file
- Equifax – 800-525-6285
- Experian – 888-397-3742 (long voice mail however)
- Trans Union – 800-680-7289
- If checks are stolen, alert your bank and close checking account
- Check with the Post Office to see if someone has submitted a fraudulent “change of address” card. If so, contact your Postal Inspector, get mail re-forwarded back to you and contact the Police.
- If someone is using your Social Security Number, call the Social Security Administration Fraud Hotline at 800-269-0271
- Notify the Passport Office for someone who may try to use your social security number to obtain a new passport
- Call each creditor, ask for the Fraud Department and fax over a copy of the Policy Report and Affidavit of Forgery
- Obtain letters from your creditors that you are not being held responsible for the charges incurred on the accounts and send them over to the credit bureau as well.
TIPS ON PREVENTING ALL KINDS OF ID THEFT
- Call the Credit Reporting Agencies “OPT OUT” phone number at 888-567-8688. (This is an automated number that feeds directly to all 3 credit bureaus and lets you “opt out” for at least a year.)
- Don’t lend your credit card to anyone. If you have other family members living with you, keep your papers in a locked desk or drawer.
- Use an “auto payment system” to pay your bills so checks cannot be stolen in the mailing process
- Don’t give our your Social Security number. Don’t print your Social Security Number on your checks and don’t put your phone number when you sign a credit card receipt
- Limit credit cards to only two
- Don’t carry your Social Security Card or birth certificate around with you
- Cancel all unused credit cards—in writing
- Don’t leave mail in your mail box (with the red flag up) for the postal worker to pick up. They are easily stolen. Take your bills directly to the post office instead
- Check your credit report with all 3 credit bureaus at least once per year. This report is provided to you FREE.
In most cases of Identity Theft, the victim knows the perpetrator. It is frequently a family member, a co-worker who has access to personal information, a roommate or an ex-spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend seeking revenge. “Personal Fraud” is more common than fraud perpetrated by the Giant ID Theft ring that you read about in the newspapers.
This important information has been provided by Shari Barnhill. I want to be your trusted advisor for life!