Skip to main content
  1. Life
  2. Health & Fitness
  3. Healthcare

Victims of Identity Theft

See also

Identity theft is the crime of setting up and using someone else’s name, bank accounts and credit facilities without his or hers permission and/or knowledge.

Identity Theft statistics:
o Every 28 minutes someone in the U.S. falls victim
o 15 million U.S. residents have their identities used fraudulently each year with financial losses totaling over $50 billion
o Approximately 7% of all adults have their identities
o Misused with each incident resulting in approximately $3500 in losses
o Close to 100 million Americans are at risk each year when their identity records are maintained by government or corporate databases
o Identity theft may be the most frequent, costly and pervasive crime in the United States
o Methods of stealing a person’s identity:
a. Phishing and vishing scams
b. Hacking into corporate or government databases
c. Hijacking or stolen computers
d. Stolen wallets or purses
e. Dumpster diving
f. Stealing mail
g. Customer call centers
• Thieves steal from credit, debit, checking and savings accounts accounting for about 85% of the incidents
• Theft of cellphones and landline services
• Cable and satellite television services
• Power, water, gas, and electric services
• Internet payment services, medical insurance, home mortgages and rental housing
• Any forms concerning finance and loans
• Government benefits
• Identity thieves will also use stolen identities to obtain employment and to deceive police when arrested
• Causes relationship problems and emotional distress
• A Social Security Number is the top compromised identifier with 56% of respondents reported theft or misuse of a child’s Social Security Number
• Child identity fraud takes an average of 334 days to detect and 44 hours to resolve, and 17% are victimized for a year or longer. Child identity fraud is more difficult to detect and more difficult to solve.
• Victimization frequently occurs close to home by family or close friends. Data shows that 27% of respondents reported knowing the responsible individual that committed the crime.

In the event you feel or suspect that someone has stolen your identity here is what you should do as soon as possible:

HOW TO PLACE A FRAUD ALERT:
 Contact 1 credit reporting company.
 Report that you are an identity theft victim.
 Ask the company to put a fraud alert on your credit file.
 Confirm that the company you call will contact the other 2 companies. Placing a fraud alert is free. The initial fraud alert stays on your credit report for 90 days. Be sure the credit reporting companies have your current contact information so they can get in touch with you.
 Learn about your rights. The credit reporting company will explain that you can get a free credit report, and other rights you have.
 Mark your calendar. The initial fraud alert stays on your report for 90 days. You can renew it after 90 days.
 Update your files.
 Record the dates you made calls or sent letters.
 Keep copies of letters in your files.

Equifax 1‑800‑525‑6285
Experian 1‑888‑397‑3742
TransUnion 1‑800‑680‑7289
 Report that you are an identity theft victim.
 Ask the company to put a fraud alert on your credit file.
 Confirm that the company you call will contact the other 2 companies. Placing a fraud alert is free. The initial fraud alert stays on your credit report for 90 days. Be sure the credit reporting companies have your current contact information so they can get in touch with you.
 Learn about your rights. The credit reporting company will explain that you can get a free credit report, and other rights you have.
 Mark your calendar. The initial fraud alert stays on your report for 90 days. You can renew it after 90 days.
 Update your files.
 Record the dates you made calls or sent letters.
 Keep copies of letters in your files.

HOW TO REQUEST A CREDIT FREEZE:
 Contact your state Attorney General’s office. Find your state Attorney General’s office at www.naag.org to determine what your state allows.
 Ask if there is a fee for putting a freeze on your credit file.
 Ask how long the freeze lasts.  Contact each credit reporting company.
 Report that you are an identity theft victim.
 Ask the company to put a freeze on your credit file.
 Pay the fee required by state law.
 Mark your calendar. Your state law determines how long the credit freeze lasts.
 Update your files.
 Record the dates you made calls or sent letters.  Keep copies of letters in your files.
Equifax 1‑800‑525‑6285
Experian 1‑888‑397‑3742
TransUnion 1‑800‑680‑7289
 Report that you are an identity theft victim.
 Ask the company to put a freeze on your credit file.
 Pay the fee required by state law.
 Mark your calendar. Your state law determines how long the credit freeze lasts.
 Update your files.
 Record the dates you made calls or sent letters.
 Keep copies of letters in your files.

ORDER YOUR FREE CREDIT REPORTS:
 Contact each credit reporting company.
 Explain that you placed an initial fraud alert.
 Order your free copy of your credit report.
 Ask each company to show only the last 4 digits of your Social Security number on your report.
 Update your files.
 Record the dates you made calls or sent letters.
 Keep copies of letters in your files.

Contact Businesses
If you know which of your accounts have been tampered with, contact the related businesses. Talk to someone in the fraud department, and follow up in writing. Send your letters by certified mail; ask for a return receipt. That creates a record of your communications. When you read your credit report, you may find unauthorized charges or accounts.
Equifax 1‑800‑525‑6285
Experian 1‑888‑397‑3742
TransUnion 1‑800‑680‑7289
Update your files.
 Record the dates you made calls or sent letters.
 Keep copies of letters in your files.
Contact Businesses
If you know which of your accounts have been tampered with, contact the related businesses. Talk to someone in the fraud department, and follow up in writing. Send your letters by certified mail; ask for a return receipt. That creates a record of your communications. When you read your credit report, you may find unauthorized charges or accounts.
Create an Identity Theft Report
An Identity Theft Report helps you deal with credit reporting companies, debt collectors, and businesses that opened accounts in your name. You can use the Report to:
• get fraudulent information removed from your credit report
• stop a company from collecting debts that result from identity theft, or from selling the debt to another company for collection
• Place an extended fraud alert on your credit report
• get information from companies about accounts the identity thief opened or misused

Creating an Identity Theft Report Involves 3 Steps:
Submit a complaint about the theft to the FTC. When you finish writing all the details, print a copy of the report. It will print as an Identity Theft Affidavit. File a police report about the identity theft, and get a copy of the police report or the report number. Bring your FTC Identity Theft Affidavit when you file a police report. Attach your FTC Identity Theft Affidavit to your police report to make an Identity Theft Report. Some companies want more information than the Identity Theft Report includes, or want different information. The information you need to provide depends on the policies of the credit reporting company and the business that sent the information about you to the credit reporting company.

HOW TO REPORT IDENTITY THEFT TO THE FTC AND PRINT AN FTC IDENTITY THEFT AFFIDAVIT:
 Complete the FTC’s online complaint form. www.ftc.gov/complaint
 Complete the complaint form with as many details as you know.
 Review the form and click “submit.”
 Save the complaint reference number that appears after you submit your information. You’ll need your complaint reference number to update your complaint online or by phone.
 Save or print your FTC Identity Theft Affidavit.
 Click on the words “Click here to get your completed FTC Identity Theft Affidavit.” Before you leave that screen, be sure you saved or printed your Affidavit. You cannot save or print it after you leave this screen.
OR
 Call the FTC. 1‑877‑438‑4338 1-866-653-4261 (TTY)
 Tell the representative what happened.
 Ask for your complaint reference number and Affidavit password. The FTC representative will email you a link so you can get your Affidavit.
 Save or print your FTC Identity Theft Affidavit.
 Go to the link the representative sent you.
 Enter your complaint reference number, Affidavit password, and your email address.
 Print or save your Identity Theft Affidavit.
THEN
 Update your files.
 Record the dates you filed your complaint.
 Keep copies of your Affidavit in your files.
 if necessary, call the FTC to update your complaint. 1‑877‑438‑4338 1-866-653-4261 (TTY) be ready to provide your complaint reference number

HOW TO FILE A POLICE REPORT:
 Go to your local police department or the police department where the theft occurred.
 Bring: • a copy of your FTC Identity Theft Affidavit • any other proof of the theft • a government-issued ID with a photo • Proof of your address (rental agreement, pay stub or utilities bill) • FTC’s Memo to Law Enforcement (See page D-1.) The memo explains to police how Identity Theft Reports are important to victims.
 Complete a report about the theft.
 Ask to have a copy, or the number, of the report. In some states, police must take your report. Visit www.naag.org to see what your state law requires. If the police won’t take a report about the identity theft, ask if you can file a “miscellaneous incidents” report, or go to a different police station, or the sheriff’s department, state police or federal authority.
 Update your files.
 Record the dates you made calls or visits.
 Record your police report number.
HOW TO CREATE YOUR IDENTITY THEFT REPORT:
 Attach your FTC Identity Theft Affidavit to your police report.
 Keep a complete copy in your files.

I have never been a victim of identity theft but a friend of mine has gone through this and years later is still in the process of clearing his name and prosecuting the people responsible. My friend has spent countless hours and too much money working on his case from many states away dealing with a problem that was caused by family members that he trusted.

Always check your credit report, read your billing and account statements carefully and trust your instincts…DON’T give away your personal information to anyone. For more information on filing reports or disputing discrepancies go to www.FTC.gov/IDTHEFT

Advertisement

Life

  • Tom Petty
    Seven overlooked videos that prove the genius of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
    Today's Buzz
  • Gaylord Pickens
    Discover Gaylord-Pickens Oklahoma Heritage Museum dollar days
    Camera
    6 Photos
  • Yoga poses
    Learn how to strengthen your core muscles with these yoga poses
    Camera
    5 Photos
  • Baby boomer STD rates
    Sexually transmitted diseases: Baby boomers booming STD rates
    Camera
    7 Photos
  • Open relationships
    Are you thinking about exercising your option to be in an open relationship?
    Camera
    5 Photos
  • Medical symptoms
    See which symptoms should cause you to seek a doctor’s attention right away
    Camera
    6 Photos