Identity theft & credit fraud  
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Resources For Identity Theft Victims

If you find out that you have been a victim, there are two excellent sites online for identity theft victims. Your first stop on the Internet should be at the website of the Federal Trade Commission.  This site contains lots of facts, statistics and how-to information about identity theft. You can also call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) to get free information in the form of brochures about how to deal immediately with your identity theft.  

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Another two great resources for individuals who have experienced identity theft are the Identity Theft Resource Center (1-858-693-7935) and the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse. 

All three credit bureaus have joined together to create a fraud alert system. If you call one credit bureau then the others will be notified of the fraud. 

The numbers to call to report your fraud are

Equifax  -- 1-800-525-6285

Experian – 1-888-397-3742

TransUnion – 1-800-680-7289 

Be sure to follow up any communications that you make with the credit bureaus in writing.

If you are a California resident can put a “freeze” on your credit history. This prevents anyone from accessing your credit reports except for you. You can access it by using a personal identification number to access your file so that it is only open when you apply for credit. The freeze is free to victims of identity theft and available for a fee to those who are not. For more information on this very successful program it is at The California Office of Privacy Protection. 

If you are really stuck, you can find helpful information designed to aid identity theft victims on such topics as 'how to replace stolen id' and 'how to prevent someone from stealing your identity' on your lender or credit card issuer’s web site.

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