Critical Steps In
Reporting Identity Theft

Reporting identity theft is one of the most important steps to take if you are a victim of this devastating crime.

First critical step in reporting identity theft is to file a police report.

Over the years identity thieves have become very sophisticated.

Because of this, there are many types of identity theft to be aware of.

It is also vitally important to take steps to protect yourself from this crime or, if a victim, take the proper steps to regain your identity and be knowledgeable in all the ways a predator can make you a victim of identity theft.

For more identity theft help, go to documenting your identity theft case to learn more.


List Of Steps For
Reporting Identity Theft

  • Immediately report the identity theft crime to the police.

You will be given a file number when you file your report.

Make sure you keep this in a safe place.

  • Reporting identity theft to the credit bureaus and completing their identity theft affidavit to place a fraud alert on your credit reports is one of the most crucial steps you can take.

When you open your new accounts you will be asked to show proof of your identity.

This fraud alert on your credit report will require the creditors to verify your identity and the credit bureau will notify you of the inquiry that has been made about your credit.

Go to identity theft help for more handy identity theft resources.

  • Be sure to review your credit reports and dispute any information or charges that are incorrect.

Remember, you need a current credit report number, no older than 90 days, (Equifax is 60 days) to file a dispute.

  • A police report helps to convince creditors that you are a victim of identity theft.

The police report should be sent with the fraud affidavit you send to creditors.

  • Don’t get bullied into paying for charges you didn’t make on accounts you didn’t open. Stand your ground.
  • After you file the dispute of identity theft affidavit for the fraudulent accounts and charges, you don’t have to pay the disputed charges, and the charges can’t be given to a collection agency per the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act.
  • Notify your bank and close the compromised accounts. This will limit your exposure.
  • Reporting identity theft to all your loan companies is also something you don’t want to forget to do.

This includes all savings and checking accounts. I know this is a pain to close all your accounts, but it is better to be safe than sorry.

In the long run, the expense and time you put in is nothing compared to what will happen if you leave a lot of loose ends and don’t close all the holes that an identity thief can exploit.

  • Make sure you close all your credit accounts that you didn’t open or authorize to be opened. Also, close any credit accounts that are not used.


Reporting Identity Theft:
Sample Letter For
Closing Credit Accounts

Date: mm/dd/year

To: Name and address of the credit company

From: Your name and address

Account Number____________________________

Please close the account number I have listed above. My reason for closing the account is listed below. If you report to a major credit bureau, please indicate this account was closed per my request. Please send me a written confirmation showing that you have closed this account.

________________________The account has not been used in several months (the cut up card is enclosed.

________________________The account was opened without my knowledge (I am not in possession of the card). Enclosed is a fraud affidavit.

I can be reached at (give a telephone where you can be reached).

Sincerely,

Your Name


  • You can close accounts by telephone. To close an account by phone or letter, use the handy checklist in Documenting Your Identity Theft Case for more details.

Sending a letter to a credit card issuer will also close a credit account. Ask for a written confirmation that the account has been closed.

The credit card company does not automatically close accounts that you have not used that are paid in full and have a zero balance.

Just cutting up your cards does Not close the account.

You physically need to tell them to close the accounts by phone or letter.

  • Be sure your bank notifies the verification companies if your checks have been lost or stolen. This will alert merchants of fraudulent checks.

Double check all checking and savings accounts for discrepancies.

For more details and tips see identity theft victims for more information if you are a victim of identity theft.

  • Open new accounts after closing your old ones.

You will be issued new temporary checks to use until your permanent ones are printed.

  • Make sure when you order the new checks to tell the person that is taking the order that you will pick up the checks from the Bank.

It is important the checks are Not mailed to the house. This can cause further vulnerability.

  • Transfer your balance from your old closed accounts and double check your balance.
  • Make sure you change pin numbers on accounts that had them.

This is extremely important because, if your account was compromised, you can’t know for sure whether your pin number was also compromised.

  • Place a lost/stolen warning on your file with the Department Of Motor Vehicles and request a replacement driver’s license.
  • If you are a victim of mail theft, contact your local post office and let them know you suspect you are a victim.


Seniors: Reporting Identity Theft

Being a senior myself, I have become extremely aware of other seniors that have become a very attractive target for the crime of identity theft.

Seniors have spent their whole life building their wealth, and usually have higher credit limits than the younger crowd; but, unfortunately, they are not as likely to guard against identity theft.

  • In this day and age it’s imperative for seniors to be especially alert to the dangers of identity theft.

Many seniors are dealing with problems with their health, and have many people such as family members and caregivers in and out of the home taking care of their everyday needs.

  • Because many seniors have to rely so heavily on outside help they can be extremely vulnerable, because they put their trust in the hands of the wrong person.
  • Often seniors are much too trusting, and are taken advantage of by the very people they have come to depend on.

Identity theft has increased greatly over the last few years because the criminals know seniors are an easy target and take advantage of this whenever possible.

  • Many seniors are still fighting for whatever independence they can acquire and, if identity theft happens to them, reporting identity theft is something they are not as likely to do, fearing the family or caregivers will try to take control because they believe the senor is not capable of taking care of their own affairs.

I took care of my elderly mother for a few years before she passed away, and I was very protective of her.

The thought of someone, anyone, trying to steal what my mom had taken a lifetime to acquire was beyond unthinkable.

  • Be very leery of family members, caretakers or friends that start wanting any type of loan, no matter how small or give sob stories of financial woes, hard times, or being victimized somehow.
  • Many thieves will prey on your emotions to gain your trust and, in doing so, gain access to your personal information and what you are financially capable of.
  • Keep your personal information, just that, Personal.

Credit card statements, statements from the bank, Medicare, etc, all have your personal identifying information on them.

This needs to be kept away from curious, prying eyes in a locked safe or cabinet.

  • Don’t just throw away items with your personal information; make sure you shred everything before you toss it in the garbage.

Go to identity theft scams to learn more ways to protect your identity from being stolen.

I have said many times that identity theft is a crime of opportunity and, if you supply the opportunity, you will find yourself a victim of identity theft.

If identity theft happens to you, reporting identity theft immediately is one of the smartest steps you can take in protecting yourself from further harm.




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