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Victim Resources

Getting Help With Identity Theft

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Victim Resources

Getting identity theft help shouldn't come wrapped in so much red tape.

Getty/Mark Weiss

When you're getting help with identity theft, it's critical to get in contact with the right people quickly. Some of the people you'll need to talk with you probably already know – your local bank manager, your local police department, etc.

Your police may not want to take a report. The FTC has a document you can print for the officer, if this is the case - she will probably take your report then. The police officer that took the report will give you a case number (you will want to obtain a copy of the police report as well.) Beyond that, these identity theft victim resources can start you down the road to recovery.

If you do not find what you're looking for here, feel free to post a question in the forum, or email me directly.

There are two key rules to remember as you work with your situation: keep the originals of all paperwork, and document everything you do. The Identity Theft Resource Center has some great tips for keeping your records in order.

The Federal Trade Commission's identity theft site has links to the identity theft affidavit – a vital document as you work to restore your identity. You can also call the FTC at 877-ID-THEFT (877-438-4338).

    Place a fraud alert with one of the three primary credit reporting agencies. It will automatically be sent to the other two, and remain in effect for 3 months.
  • Experian – 888-397-3742 (TDD 800-972-0322)
  • Equifax – 888-766-0008 (TDD 800-255-0056)
  • Transunion – 800-680-7289 (TDD 877-553-7803)
    Talk to the check verification companies if your bank account has been compromised, a new bank account set up in your name, or you find out bad checks were written on your account.
  • CheckRite – 800-766-2748
  • ChexSystems – 800-428-9623
  • CrossCheck – 800-552-1900
  • Equifax – 800-437-5120
  • National Processing Company (NPC) – 800-526-5380
  • SCAN – 800-262-7771
  • TeleCheck – 800-710-9898

The U.S. Secret Service also has a hand in the investigation of crimes associated with financial institutions.

Look at the Internal Revenue Service website for information on dealing with tax-related identity theft, such as a bogus return filed in your name.

The Social Security Administration's identity theft site answers some questions on lost social security cards and misused numbers.

File a complaint with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service if you believe your mail has been diverted, or that someone is tampering with your mail.

File a report with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) if you believe your identity was compromised due to internet activity (a Trojan horse, virus, malicious website etc.)

The U.S. Department of Justice has a site as well, although they will most often refer you to a more-appropriate resource.

The National Conference of State Legislatures has a reference guide for various identity theft related state laws. This information will probably come in handy.

For legal issues, you'll want to get in touch with your State Bar Associations. You may also want to get in touch with your state's Attorney General – you can find his/her contact information on the National Association of Attorney's General website.

A Department of Motor Vehicles listing is available by state on California's DMV site.

Medical identity theft is a special situation, and will require more attention to little details. Although you will still want your credit report, the medical identity theft resources page will also give you additional information you will need when dealing with healthcare providers...especially since the new HITECH law has been adopted. You may find yourself also needing to get in touch with your state insurance commissioner.

Identity Theft Assistance Sites

These sites may provide additional information. As always, if you have a resource you think should be on this page, let your guide know with a link in a quick email.

The Identity Theft Resource Center has compiled a very helpful map to identify local assistance.

The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse is a valuable resource for tracking data breaches as well as general information about recovering your identity.

The Identity Theft Assistance Center (ITAC) has also put together some frequently used fraud hotlines (including investment companies.)

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