Who Do I Notify if I'm a Victim of Identity Theft?
Once you discover you are a victim of identity theft you should notify the following agencies:
Immediately call the fraud unit of the three credit reporting companies—Experian, Equifax and Trans Union. Report the theft of your credit cards or numbers. The phone numbers are provided under ID Theft Resources. Ask that your account be flagged. Also, add a victim’s statement of up to 100 words to your credit report. (Something as simple as “My ID has been used to apply for credit fraudulently. Contact me at [your telephone number] to verify all applications” will work.) Be sure to ask how long the fraud alert remains posted on your account, and how you can extend it if necessary. Be aware that these measures may not entirely stop new fraudulent accounts from being opened by the imposter. Ask the credit bureaus, in writing, to provide you with a free copy every few months so you can monitor your credit report.
Ask the credit bureaus for names and phone numbers of credit grantors with whom fraudulent accounts have been opened. Ask the credit bureau to remove the inquiries that have been generated due to the fraudulent access. You may also ask the credit bureaus to notify those who have received your credit report in the last six months in order to alert them to the disputed and erroneous information (two years for employers).
Contact all creditors immediately with whom your name has been used fraudulently—by phone and in writing. Get replacement cards with new account numbers for your own accounts that have been used fraudulently. Ask that old accounts be processed as “account closed at consumer’s request.” (This is better than “card lost or stolen.” When this statement is reported to credit bureaus, it can be interpreted as blaming you for the loss.) Carefully monitor your mail and credit card bills for evidence of new fraudulent activity. Report it immediately to credit grantors.
Creditors requirement to report fraud. You may be asked by banks and credit grantors to fill out and notarize fraud affidavits, which could become costly. The law does not require that a notarized affidavit be provided to creditors. A written statement and supporting documentation should be enough (unless the creditor offers to pay for the notary).
Report the crime to the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction in your case. If you are a resident of the District of Columbia, contact the Financial Crimes and Fraud Unit for an appointment:
Metropolitan Police Department
Financial Crimes and Fraud Unit
300 Indiana Avenue, NW Room 3019
Washington, DC 20001
You may want to complete the Identity Crime Incident Detail Form [PDF] before you contact the police. This form will help you collect all the information that will be useful to the department if an investigation is necessary. The form may be completed on your computer, but, for security purposes, none of the information will be submitted electronically. Instead, please print out two copies of the completed form–one for the police and one for your personal file.
After you file your police report, be sure to get a file for your personal record. Keep the police report number handy and give it to creditors and others who require verification of your case. Credit card companies and banks may require you to produce the report to verify the crime.