ID Theft

IDENTITY THEFT

One of the most dramatic increases in crimes is of a financial nature, specifically, identity theft.  Identity theft occurs when someone obtains a person's identifying information, such as name, address, date of birth, social security number, or mother's maiden name.  Using this information illegally, someone can open new credit card accounts, drain your bank accounts, purchase  vehicles, apply for loans, open utility services, etc.  Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America.  Is it the number one consumer fraud complaint with over ten million victims each year.  The FPD has taken a number of complaints regarding these types of crimes.

What To Do If You Are A Victim

  • Contact the fraud departments of the three major credit bureaus.

  • Request that a "fraud alert" be placed on your file and include a statement that creditors must get your permission before any new accounts are opened in your name.  The three major credit bureaus are: EQUIFAX 1-800-525-6285; EXPERIAN 1-888-397-3742; and TRANS UNION 1-800-680-7289.

  • Contact all the creditors involved.  Let them know that your account may have been used without your permission, or that new accounts have been opened in your name.

  • File a police report.  Get a copy of the report to submit to your creditors and others that may require proof of a crime.

  • Contact the Federal Trade Commission.  The FTC can assist you with additional information and maintains a database of identity theft cases for use by law enforcement agencies.  File a fraud report with them by calling the Identity Theft hotline at 1-877-438-4338 or go to www.consumer.gov/idtheft

  • Keep a record of your contacts.  Start a file with copies of your credit reports, police report, any additional correspondence, and copies of disputed bills.

  • The FPD has an excellent ID theft handbook available. Copies are usually available at the PD, Village Hall and the Library.