Have you suspected or learned that you are a victim of identity theft? And do you wish to get an attorney involved in your case? Well, this article shows you simple steps that’ll make you irresistible to the attorney and have your situation sorted.
Being a victim of identity endangers your life. First off, you can be accused of a crime that you even don’t know. Second, you can interfere with your reputation in the society. And lastly, you can lose your hard-earned dollars.
To prevent all these, you need an attorney by your side to protect you. So, what can you do to reach out to him or her?
It’s easy. Consider the following six steps.
1. Report the Case to one of the Major Credit Bureaus
We have the three major credit bureaus: Experian, TransUnion LLC, and Equifax. Each of these three credit bureaus provides toll-free fraud contacts. Interestingly, when you contact one of them, you’ll have been reached out to the three bodies.
When you call any of those numbers, you won’t be able to speak to anyone at that time because they operate under an automated telephone system. This system will direct you on what you’ll do. First, you’ll be asked to provide your social security number plus other details to certify that you are yourself and not a fraudster.
The system is interconnected in a way that the fraud alert is filed with the three credit bureaus. If the system flags the fraud alert, then the thief won’t be able to open any other account or use your identity in any other dealing. This alert remains in the system for a year, or you can renew it even up to seven years.
These three credit bureaus will then send you a letter (through the contact you provided) confirming your fraud alert. They’ll also direct you on the steps to take to obtain a copy of your credit report. The good news is that; you won’t be charged a penny for these reports because you are a victim of identity theft. The report from each bureau comes with a telephone number that you can contact someone and talk to in the credit bureau department.
2. File an Identity Theft Report
You can call the police or sheriff’s department and file an identity theft report that you’ve been involved in identity theft. Request the police or sheriff’s department to provide you with a police report regarding identity theft.
Ensure that you give as much detailed information as possible about the theft. And one of the best ways to prove that you have been a victim of the theft is to provide them with copies of the credit reports which disclose all items related to the fraud.
Avoid giving out any other information that’s not related to identity theft. If you have new evidence that you can add to the report, give it out. Don’t forget to take a copy of your police report. These are the copies that you’ll issue to your creditors and the three credit bureaus.
3. Close all the Accounts Opened or Tampered With Fraudulently
The most imperative thing to do is to contact any company that can help you dispute fraudulent accounts or transactions. Follow up that company in writing. Send your correspondence via a certified mail since it’s the most recommended.
Enquire whether the company may need a fraud affidavit or not. If you must present it, then request the company to issue you with one. Also, you can get it from the identity theft book available in the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or office of the Attorney General.
Alternatively, you can change all your account details such as your PINs, passwords, and login information such as email accounts or any other account using the same login information.
4. File an Identity Theft Complaint with the FTC
You can file an identity theft complaint it with the Federal Trade Commission. FTC is a body that’s responsible for keeping all the records (database) related to identity theft, and several law enforcement agencies use it
5. Put a Security or Credit Freeze on Your Credit Report
Doubtlessly, a security freeze (also called a credit freeze) is the ultimate and most reliable protection that can prevent new accounts from being opened using your stolen details. It means that your files are locked and can’t be disclosed or shared with your employers, insurers, potential creditors, and residential landlords unless you authorize it.
Also read Does Capital One CreditWise Affect Your Credit Score?
6. Request an Identity Theft Passport from the office of the Attorney General
Once you obtain this Identity Theft Passport, then you have the attorney involved in your identity theft case. This passport is issued to any resident who reasonably suspects or learns that he or she is a victim of identity theft. For you to receive it, you must have filed a police report which confirms that you are genuinely a victim of identity fraud.
The passport appears similar to a driver’s license and comes with the attorney’s contact. It helps you as a victim to re-establish your good name. Importantly, it also protects you from being arrested due to other criminal offenses that the identity fraudster commits.
Yo may also be interested in reading Equifax Form 8-K Filings: Consumer Licenses, Passports Also Exposed in Data Breach