The Importance of Reporting Identity Theft
Identity theft is on the rise. As technology continues to advance, it only makes it easier for the common criminal to steal other people’s identities. It’s no wonder identity theft has quickly grown to be an alarming national problem. If you are a victim or witness of this crime or know about it in some way, it’s important that you report identity theft as soon as possible. Especially if you are a victim. In this case it is important to stop the thief using your identity as soon as possible before further damage can be done.
Identity theft is basically when another person illegally opens credit accounts, sometimes even bank loans, using vital information that was stolen somehow. This information includes your social security number, as well as other details that would enable them to verify their identity as your own.
Although there are identity theft safeguards in place to insure against this kind of fraud, banks and other credit institutions are driven to get your business. Sometimes these credit institutions will approve a new credit application before giving it a good, thorough investigation. These safeguards work, but not always. You’ll need to be proactive if you want to be alerted to any kind of identity theft going on.
In order to report identity theft, immediately contact the fraud departments of the 3 main credit bureaus. Let them know that you’ve recently been the victim of this crime so that they can put a fraud alert on your file. While you’re doing this, also order copies of your credit report so that you can be certain that no other credit accounts were opened under your identity.
You’ll also need to contact the creditors at which fraudulent accounts were opened. Ask to talk with the fraud department at every creditor. Be sure to follow-up with a letter as the consumer protection procedure calls for resolving errors in writing.
Don’t forget to contact the local authorities so that you can report identity theft and file a report with them. Get a copy of the report so that you can provide proof to any creditors that request it.