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Identity Theft
If you are a victim of identity theft, take the following four steps as soon as possible, and keep records or your conversations and copies of all correspondence. You can also follow the comprehensive guide, Taking Charge, What To Do If Your Identity is Stolen, which describes what to, your legal rights, how to handle specific problems you may encounter along the way and what to watch for in the future. This guide also includes the ID Theft Affidavit to help you report information to many companies.

1. Place fraud alerts on your credit reports

Fraud alerts can help prevent an identity thief from opening any more accounts in your name. Contact the toll-free fraud number of any of the three consumer reporting companies below to place a fraud alert on your credit report. You only need to contact one of the three companies to place an alert. The company you call is required to contact the other two, which will place an alert on their versions of your report.

Fraud Victim Assistance Division
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92834-6790
P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
P.O. Box 9554
Allen, TX 75013

Once you place the fraud alert in your file, you’re entitled to order free copies of your credit reports, and, if you ask, only the last four digits of your SSN will appear on your credit reports. Once you get your credit reports, review them carefully. Look for inquiries from companies you haven’t contacted, accounts you didn’t open, and debits on your accounts that you can’t explain. Check that information like your SSN, address(es), name or initials, and employers are correct. If you find fraudulent or inaccurate information, contact the consumer reporting companies to get it removed. Continue to check your credit reports periodically, especially for the first year after you discover the identity theft, to make sure no new fraudulent activity has occurred.

2. Close accounts that have been tampered with or opened fraudulently.

Call and speak to someone in the security or fraud department of each company. Follow up in writing, and include copies (NOT originals) of supporting documents. It’s important to notify credit card companies and banks in writing. Send your letters by certified mail, return receipt requested, so you can document what the company received and when. Keep a file of your correspondence and enclosures.

When you open new accounts, use new Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) and passwords. Avoid using easily available information like your mother’s maiden name, your birth date, the last four digits of your SSN or your phone number, or a series of consecutive numbers.

If the identity thief has made charges or debits on your accounts, or on fraudulently opened accounts, ask the company for the forms to dispute those transactions.
  • For charges and debits on existing accounts, ask the representative to send you the company’s fraud dispute forms. If the company doesn’t have special forms, write a letter to dispute the fraudulent charges or debits. In either case, write to the company at the address given for “billing inquiries,” NOT the address for sending your payments.
  • For new unauthorized accounts, ask if the company accepts the ID Theft Affidavit. If not, ask the representative to send you the company’s fraud dispute forms. If the company already has reported these accounts or debits on your credit report, dispute this fraudulent information.

Once you have resolved your identity theft dispute with the company, ask for a letter stating that the company has closed the disputed accounts and has discharged the fraudulent debts. This letter is your best proof if errors relating to this account reappear on your credit report or you are contacted again about the fraudulent debt.

3. File a report with your local police or the police in the community where the identity theft took place.

If possible, get a copy of the police report, or at the very least, the number of the report. It can help you deal with creditors who need proof of the crime. If the police are reluctant to take your report, ask to file a “Miscellaneous Incidents” report, or try another jurisdiction, like your state police. You also can check with your state Attorney General’s office to find out if state law requires the police to take reports for identity theft. Check the Blue Pages of your telephone directory for the phone number or check for a list of state Attorney's General.

4. File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

By sharing your identity theft complaint with the FTC, you will provide important information that can help law enforcement officials across the nation track down identity thieves and stop them. The FTC can refer victims’ complaints to other government agencies and companies for further action, as well as investigate companies for violations of laws the agency enforces.

You can file a complaint online, or if you don't have Internet access, call the FTC's Identity Theft Hotline toll-free at 1-877-ID-THEFT (438-4338); TDD - 202-326-2502.

You may also write to :
Identify Theft Clearinghouse
Federal Trade Commission
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20580

Additional Resources        

Police Department
Chief Bob Ricks
Chief of Police

Jennifer Wagnon
Public Information Specialist

Deputy Chief Tim Dorsey
Deputy Chief of Police

Deputy Chief Larry Campbell
Deputy Chief of Police

Major Tim Barnthouse
Commander Patrol Division

Major Theresa Pfeiffer
Commander Special Services

Major Bob Pratt
Major of Budget & Professional Standards

Major CJ Wise
Commander Detective Division

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