If you’ve been a victim of identity theft, you’ll need to work with creditors, law enforcement officials, and your credit reporting bureaus to get things back on track. You may be able to resolve some issues by yourself and others might require the help of a consumer rights attorney. Here’s what you should do if your identity was stolen.
Understand What Happened
It’s important to understand that identity theft is a crime, and someone stole your personal information and used it to commit fraud. Credit report fraud is one form of identity theft. There are different types of identity theft:
• Financial – When someone uses your personal information to open new accounts or make purchases without your knowledge or consent.
• Tax-related – When someone uses your SSN or other identifying information to file taxes under their name to collect tax refunds or credits they’re not entitled to.
• Medical related – Medical ID theft is when someone pretends to be someone else to get medical care at hospitals or clinics using their medical insurance policy.
Call The Credit Reporting Bureaus
You should contact the credit reporting bureaus and request that your credit report be corrected. You can do this over the phone, via mail, or online. According to lawyer Nathan DeLadurantey, if you use the postal service, send your letter by certified mail so you can confirm it was received by the bureau and when it was received.
The following information should be included in your letters:
• Your name, address, and any aliases you used.
• A request to remedy all inaccuracies on your file; if there are none, mention so.
• A list of items under dispute and accompanying documents, such as bills showing payments or other proof that they were not yours.
File A Police Report And Request An Identity Theft Affidavit
File a police report for identity theft or credit report fraud. This will prove you were wronged and may be required when presenting your case to a consumer rights attorney Nathan DeLadurantey. You should also acquire an Identity Theft Affidavit from your local police station to prove that you were a victim of identity theft and that you filed a police report. In case you need them later, keep copies of police reports, affidavits, and correspondence with creditors and credit bureaus.