Identity Theft

Fighting back against Identity Theft: click here.

Federal Trade Commission ID Theft Brochure: click here.

To find out more information about Identity Theft Damage Control, click here.

So why follow so many protocols to secure information? Most are designed to prevent Identity Theft.

Identity theft is a serious crime. People whose identities have been stolen can spend months or years - and their hard-earned money - cleaning up the mess thieves have made of their good name and credit record. In the meantime, victims may lose job opportunities, be refused loans, education, housing or cars, or even get arrested for crimes they didn't commit.

If you think your identity has been stolen, here's what to do now:

  1. Contact the fraud departments of any one of the three major credit bureaus to place a fraud alert on your credit file. The fraud alert requests creditors to contact you before opening any new accounts or making any changes to your existing accounts. As soon as the credit bureau confirms your fraud alert, the other two credit bureaus will be automatically notified to place fraud alerts, and all three credit reports will be sent to you free of charge.

  2. Close the accounts that you know or believe have been tampered with or opened fraudulently. Use the ID Theft Affidavit when disputing new unauthorized accounts.

  3. File a police report. Get a copy of the report to submit to your creditors and others that may require proof of the crime.

  4. File your complaint with the FTC. The FTC maintains a database of identity theft cases used by law enforcement agencies for investigations. Filing a complaint also helps the FTC learn more about identity theft and the problems victims are having so that the FTC can better assist you.

Credit Bureau Fraud Departments

  • TransUnion:
  • Fraud Victim Assistance Department
    P.O. Box 6790
    Fullerton, CA 92834
    or 800-680-7289
  • Equifax:
  • Consumer Fraud Division
    P.O. Box 740256
    Atlanta, GA 30374
    or 800-525-6285
  • Experian:
  • Experian's National Consumer Assistance
    P.O. Box 2002
    Allen, TX 75013
    or 888-397-3742

    Here are a few alarming statistics published by the FTC:

    • About 10 million Americans fall victim each year
    • Avg. loss occurrence is $10,200
    • ID Theft cost companies about $33b in 2003
    • A victim spends on average $1,050 to clean up their credit after the occurrence