Reporting identity theft is one of the most important steps to take if you are a victim of this devastating crime.
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.
You will be given a file number when you file your report.
Make sure you keep this in a safe place.
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.
Remember, you need a current credit report number, no older than 90 days, (Equifax is 60 days) to file a dispute.
The police report should be sent with the fraud affidavit you send to creditors.
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.
To: Name and address of the credit company
From: Your name and address
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).
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.
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.
You will be issued new temporary checks to use until your permanent ones are printed.
It is important the checks are Not mailed to the house. This can cause further vulnerability.
This is extremely important because, if your account was compromised, you can’t know for sure whether your pin number was also compromised.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.