What Should You Do if Your Identity is Stolen?

A recent article on Bankrate.com provides these helpful tips if you suspect you are or have been a victim of identity theft.

Here is a step-by-step guide to clearing your good name:

  1. Contact the three major credit bureaus. Equifax: (800) 685-1111; Experian: (800) 311-4769; and Trans Union: (800) 888-4213. Ask them to place a fraud alert on your credit report. Include a statement that asks creditors to call you for permission before any new accounts are opened in your name.

  2. Contact creditors for any accounts that have been tampered with or opened without your knowledge. Be sure to put complaints in writing.

  3. Alert the police that your wallet is stolen. Fill out a police report, and consider signing a written affidavit verifying that unauthorized transactions on your account are fraudulent. Send copies to creditors and credit bureaus as proof of the crime.

  4. Report the fraud to the Office of the Inspector General's fraud hotline at 1-800-772-1213.
  5. Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). While federal investigators only tend to pursue larger, more sophisticated fraud cases, they do monitor identity theft crimes of all levels in the hopes of discovering patterns and breaking up larger rings. The agency also has an online complaint form.

  6. Change account passwords. Avoid using your mother's maiden name or the last four digits of your Social Security number as a personal identification number.

  7. Notify the Social Security Administration (1-800-772-1213) to replace Social Security or Medicaid cards, the Department of Motor Vehicles to get a new driver's license, and your telephone and utility companies to prevent a con artist from using a utility bill as proof of residence when applying for new cards.

You may like these other stories...

Former DOJ Tax Division head Kathryn Keneally joining DLA Piper in New YorkGlobal law firm DLA Piper announced on Thursday that Kathryn Keneally, the former head of the US Justice Department Tax Division, is joining the firm...
Read more from Larry Perry here and in the Today's World of Audits archive.In my last article, I summarized major differences between principles in U.S. GAAP and the Financial Reporting Framework for Small and Medium-...
OECD calls for coordinated fight against corporate tax avoidanceDavid Jolly of the New York Times reported that dozens of countries with the most advanced economies have agreed on principles for concrete action to prevent...

Already a member? log in here.

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Sep 24
In this jam-packed presentation Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA will give you a crash-course in creating spreadsheet-based dashboards. A dashboard condenses large amounts of data into a compact space, yet enables the end user to easily drill down into details when warranted.
Sep 30
This webcast will include discussions of important issues in SSARS No. 19 and the current status of proposed changes by the Accounting and Review Services Committee in these statements.
Oct 21
Kristen Rampe will share how to speak and write more effectively by understanding your own and your audience's communication style.
Oct 23
Amber Setter will show the value of leadership assessments as tools for individual and organizational leadership development initiatives.