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...

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has relaunched its technical agenda web page, which Chairman Russell Golden said will inform visitors at a glance on where any given FASB project stands, the steps it took to...
Tax accounting to be simplified for money-market fundsThe US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted 3-2 on Wednesday for sweeping changes to institutional money-market funds, Emily Chasan, senior editor of...
Read more from Larry Perry here and in the Today's World of Audits archive.AU-C Section 800, Special Considerations—Audits of Financial Statements Prepared in Accordance With Special Purpose Frameworks, paragraph ....

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Jul 31
In this session Excel expert David Ringstrom helps beginners get up to speed in Microsoft Excel. However, even experienced Excel users will learn some new tricks, particularly when David discusses under-utilized aspects of Excel.
Aug 5
This webcast will focus on accounting and disclosure policies for various types of consolidations and business combinations.
Aug 20
In this session we'll review best practices for how to generate interest in your firm’s services.