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How To Report Identity Theft

Here is a breakdown of exactly what you need to do if you are a victim of identity theft – 

First call the credit card companies and your bank and tell them about the theft. Keep records of everything you discuss and who you discuss it with. Remember to include dates, times and first and last names. Back up these conversations in writing with letters sent certified mail (return receipt requested.) Sign the required fraud affidavit as fast as possible. 

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Add a fraud alert to your credit file and make sure the alert is on for seven years rather than for a shorter period. Fraud alerts can make your credit more difficult to obtain but you can also cancel an alert later if you have to.  

All three 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 to if you are a victim of fraud are -- 

Equifax  -- 1-800-525-6285

Experian – 1-888-397-3742

TransUnion – 1-800-680-7289 

The credit bureaus are also required to send you a free credit report after you have reported a fraud alert.  Also they are required to supply you with the contact information of any creditors that you don’t recognize on your credit report. 

Some states also have the option of putting a “freeze” on your credit reports. This prevents anyone from accessing your credit reports and seeing a lousy score caused by fraud. You can access it by using a personal identification number to free your file when you need to apply for credit. The freeze is free in some states for identity theft victims.

 Once you have accomplished all of this then close down any delinquent accounts, procure your credit reports and proceed with writing letters of dispute so that you can correct any damage done to your credit history and rating.

More About Identity Theft

Reporting Credit Card Fraud