Resources to protect you in case of identity theft.

5.31.13

Identity theft is one of the most prevalent threats to the modern consumer.   Should you suspect your private information is being improperly used, do you know what your options are and what steps you need to take?  Below, we offer you some resources and practical steps to take if you know or suspect your identity has been stolen.

Freeze Your Credit:
Credit freezes are one of the most effective tools against economic ID theft available to consumers. They allow you to seal your credit reports and use a personal identification number (PIN) that only you know and can use to temporarily “thaw” your credit so that legitimate applications for credit and services can be processed. That added layer of security means that thieves can’t establish new credit in your name even if they are able to obtain your ID.

EQUIFAX CREDIT FREEZE – [https://www.freeze.equifax.com]

  • Credit freezes may be done online or by certified mail – return receipt requested.
  • Check your state’s listing for the exact cost of your credit freeze and to see if there is a reduction in cost if you are a senior citizen.
  • Request your credit freeze by certified mail using this sample letter. Please note the attachments you must include.
  • If your PIN is late arriving, call 1-888-298-0045. They will ask you for some ID and arrange for your PIN to be sent to you in 4-7 days.
  • Unfreeze: Do a temporary thaw of your Equifax credit freeze by snail mailonline or by calling 1-888-298-0045.

EXPERIAN CREDIT FREEZE – [https://www.experian.com/freeze/center.html]

  • Credit freezes may be done online or by certified mail – return receipt requested.
  • Check your state’s listing for the exact cost of your credit freeze and to see if there is a reduction in cost if you are a senior citizen.
  • Request your credit freeze by certified mail using this sample letter. Please note the attachments you must include.
  • You can also freeze a child’s credit report. The information contained at this link is applicable for all three credit bureaus. You must first write a letter to each bureau to learn if your minor child has a credit report and if so, then you can proceed to freeze it.
  • Unfreeze: Do a temporary thaw of your Experian credit freeze online or by calling 1-888-397-3742.

TRANSUNION CREDIT FREEZE – [http://www.transunion.com/personal-credit/credit-disputes/credit-freezes.page]

  • Credit freezes may be done online, by phone (1-888-909-8872) or by certified mail – return receipt requested. (Some users have reported difficulty with the online method. Please try one of the other options if you too experience difficulty.)
  • Check your state’s listing for the exact cost of your credit freeze and to see if there is a reduction in cost if you are a senior citizen.
  • Request your credit freeze by certified mail using this sample letter. Please note the attachments you must include.
  • Unfreeze: Do a temporary thaw of your TransUnion credit freeze online or by calling 1-888-909-8872.

fraud-thief

Report ID Fraud to the Credit Bureaus:

Equifax
P.O. Box 105069, Atlanta, GA30348
Experian (formerly TRW)
P.O. Box 9532, Allen, TX75013
Report fraud: Call 1-800-525-6285
or write to address above.
Order credit report: 1-800-685-1111
www.equifax.com
Report fraud: Call 1-888-397-3742
or write to address above.
Order credit report: 1-888-397-3742
www.experian.com
TransUnion
P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA92834
Report fraud: Call 1-800-680-7289
or write to address above.

Order credit report: 1-800-888-4213
www.transunion.com

 

Other Resources:

Postal Inspection Services
If you suspect someone has been tampering with your mail in any way, go this address for instructions on steps to take:  https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/forms/IDTheft.aspx
Do you suspect that your Social Security number is being used fraudulently? Contact the Office of the Inspector General at: http://oig.ssa.gov/report-fraud-waste-or-abuse
If you suspect your identification is being used improperly in connection with tax violations, please visit the following site for more information:http://www.irs.gov/uac/Identity-Protection
FTC ID Theft Resourceshttp://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft2012/
US Department of Justice: http://www.justice.gov/criminal/fraud/websites/idtheft.html
File a Complaint:
FTC Complaint Form
https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/

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