ID Theft Victims
Steps To Take When Your Identity Has Been Stolen
Step 1: File a Police Report
Where To File
First Choice - File a police report where the crime occurred. The case is more likely to be investigated where the crime took place. Example: If your credit card number was used at a business in Charlotte, file a report with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.
Second Choice - File a police report where you live or where the suspected thief lives.
Reasons To File
Filing a police report triggers helpful protections under both federal and state law, such as an extended fraud alert and a free security freeze. A police report will be useful as you contact creditors to try to restore your credit. Get a copy of your police report.
Step 2: Close the Affected Accounts
Close any accounts affected by identity theft by asking banks and/or businesses to close the violated accounts.
You may need to ask for a new account with a new personal identification number (PIN) and password. When selecting a PIN or password, avoid using information such as your date of birth, mother’s maiden name, children’s names, last four digits of your SSN, telephone number or a series of consecutive numbers (i.e., 1, 2, 3, 4).
If you automatically draft payments from these accounts, notify companies of the change.
Call SCAN (1-800-262-7771) to see if there are outstanding bad checks in your name.
Contact your bank to stop payment on stolen or misused checks.
Ask check verification companies to notify retailers not to accept the bad checks. TeleCheck: 1-800-710-9898 and Certegy, Inc.: 1-800-437-5120
If businesses receive bad checks or credit in your name, notify them that you’re a victim of identity theft and provide them with proof, such as a police report.
Step 3: Notify the Credit Bureaus
Option 1: Fraud Alert
A fraud alert tells banks and other creditors to take extra steps to verify your identity before issuing credit in your name, but it will not stop credit in your name. A fraud alert is free and will last 90 days unless you request an extended seven-year fraud alert and provide a police report.
To request a fraud alert, contact one of the three nationwide credit bureaus by telephone, mail or on their Web site. The alert will be shared and a flag will be placed on your credit file with all three nationwide credit bureaus.
Each credit bureau will offer to you a free copy of your credit report. Review these reports carefully for any fraudulent activity and notify the credit bureaus online or in writing.
Continue to review your credit reports every few months. You can request a free credit report annually by calling 1-877-322-8228 or going online at www.annualcreditreport.com.
Option 2: Security Freeze
A security freeze
stops access to new credit in your name. Placing a security freeze prohibits credit reporting agencies from releasing any information about you to new creditors without your approval, making it difficult for an identity thief to use your information to open an account or obtain credit.
North Carolina residents can now get free security freezes online. Identity theft victims who have filed a police report, their spouses, and consumers over the age of 62 can also get free security freezes by mail or phone. Other consumers can get security freezes by mail or phone for a fee.
Step 4: Notify the Federal Trade Commission
File a report with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by calling 1-877-ID THEFT (1-877-438-4338) TTY 1-866-653-4261 or use the online complaint form at www.ftc.gov.
Additional Steps to Consider
Keep Records: Write down dates, contact persons, addresses, phone numbers, and other details. Request confirmation in writing of actions taken.
:If you suspect that someone else has a state-issued North Carolina driver’s license in your name, report it to the NC Division of Motor Vehicles
at (919) 715-7000.
:If someone is using your Social Security Number for employment purposes, notify the Social Security Administration
at 1-800-269-0271 and the NC Employment Security Commission at (919) 733-5034.
:Notify the local postal inspector if you suspect mail theft or fraud. You can contact North Carolina’s local postal inspector at (704) 329-9120 or http://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/
Criminal:If you suspect that someone has used your name to avoid criminal punishment, notify local law enforcement and the district attorney in each county where charges were brought.