Identity theft has become one of the fastest-growing crimes we see today. With the ability to commit this crime from almost anywhere in the world, the identity thief can run up a debt in your name in no time and disappear into ‘cyber space’ before you even discover the crime.
If you suspect identity theft, you must act quickly. The first thing to do is to contact the financial institution involved. Most credit card accounts list a phone number for reporting fraud, or a lost or stolen credit card. Don’t wait to report the loss of a credit or debit card. Most banks and credit card companies will ‘forgive’ a certain amount of fraud, as long as you make a prompt report.
In addition to notifying your financial institution, you should also contact one of the Credit Reporting Organizations listed below, to place a ‘Fraud Alert’ on your name and Social Security number:
Trans Union 1-800-680-7289
Social Security Fraud Line 1-800-269-0271
Use the link below to learn more about identity theft:
Federal Trade Commission’s ID Theft Web Site: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/
All Americans are entitled to a free annual credit report (www.annualcreditreport.com) from the three major credit reporting agencies:
If you suspect that you have become a victim of Identity Theft, take action as quickly as possible. Notify your bank and/or the credit card issuer and notify your local police department.