If someone is using your name and social security number to open
fraudulent accounts, you are the victim of identity theft. The following
information provides victims with information and resources to contact
to minimize the damage. We
encourage you to use Forms listed on the right side of this page for a
fast and convenient method of reporting incidents to our office.
1. Keep a Log
Document conversations, including dates, names, and numbers. Confirm
conversations in writing. Send correspondence by certified mail. Keep
copies of all letters and documents.
2. Contact Credit Reporting Agencies
Immediately contact all the three credit reporting
agencies, TRANSUNION, EQUIFAX, and EXPERIAN (formerly TRW) to report
fraudulent use of your personal information:
TransUnion Fraud Victim Assistance Department
P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834
Equifax Credit Consumer Fraud Division
P.O. Box 740256, Atlanta, GA 30374
Experian’s National Consumer Assistance
P.O. Box 9530, Allen, TX 75013
Report theft of your credit cards or numbers. Request
a “fraud alert” be added to your credit file (this will require
creditors to contact you at a verified telephone number or address to
confirm validity of application). This will prohibit you from opening
“instant accounts”. Ask how long the fraud alert is posted, and how
to extend it if necessary.
Obtain copies of your credit report to monitor any inquiries or new
fraudulent accounts. Confirm the names and telephone number of credit
grantors for any fraudulent accounts. Request inquiries that have been
generated from fraudulent accounts to be removed. Ask to notify those
who have received your credit report in the last six months in order to
alert them to the disputed information.
3. Contact Your Creditors
Contact all creditors immediately with whom your name has been used
fraudulently, by phone and in writing. Obtain replacement cards with new
account numbers when appropriate. Ask that old accounts be reported as
“account closed at consumer’s request” (This is better than “card
lost or stolen,” because when a statement is reported, it can be
interpreted as blaming you for the loss). Carefully monitor mail and
credit card bills for evidence of new fraudulent activity.
4. Get Legal Assistance
You may want to consult an attorney to determine
legal action to take against creditors and/or credit bureaus if they are
not cooperative in removing fraudulent entries from your credit report
or if negligence is a factor. Call the local Bar Association to find an
attorney who specializes in consumer law and the Fair Credit Reporting
5. Handling Emotional Stress
Psychological counseling may help you deal with the stress and
anxiety commonly experienced by victims.
Additional Fraudulent Activities You Should
If you have had checks stolen or bank accounts set up fraudulently,
report it to your bank immediately. Consider putting stop payments on
any outstanding checks and closing your accounts. When opening a new
account, provide a secret password (not mother’s maiden name). Pick up
new checks at the bank office rather than having them mailed to your
If your ATM card is stolen or compromised, get a new card, account
number, and password. Do not use the old password. When creating a new
password, do not use the last four digits of your social security number
or your birthday.
Suspicious Address Change
Notify the local Postmaster if you suspect an
imposter has filed a change of your address or used mail to commit
credit or bank fraud. Find out where fraudulent credit cards were sent.
Notify the Postmaster for that address to forward your mail to your
Call Social Security Administration (SSA) to report fraudulent use of
your social security number. The SSA will only change it if you fit
their victim criteria. Order a copy of your Earnings and Benefits
Statement and check for accuracy.
Report Fraud: (800) 269-0271
Earnings & Benefits Statement: (800) 772-1213
If your long distance calling card has been stolen or you discover
fraudulent charges on your bill, cancel the account and open a new one.
Provide a password to be used anytime the account is changed.
If someone is using your driver’s license number as
identification, call Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to see if
another license was issued in your name. Put a fraud alert on your
license, and request a new number. Fill out the DMV’s complaint form to
begin the fraud investigation and send supporting documents with the
form to the nearest DMV office.
Civil & Criminal Judgments
Identity theft victims are sometimes wrongfully
accused of crimes committed by imposters. If a civil judgment has been
entered in your name for actions taken by your imposter, contact law
enforcement. Contact the Civil Court where the judgment was entered and
report that you are a victim of identify theft. If you are wrongfully
prosecuted for criminal charges, contact the State Department of