Identity Theft Help
If you have found yourself to be the victim of identity theft there are several steps you should immediately take to prevent great damage being done to your credit history.
You first step should be to contact the police or local sheriff. Some jurisdictions are great about taking identity theft reports and other will treat like you are “guilty until you are proven innocent.” The key is to be convincing and bring as much documentation of the fraud that you can to support your claims. Once you can get the law enforcement agency to list the affected accounts on a report you will have very little problem in convincing the credit card bureaus and the lender involved that you are not the fraudster.
You should also contact the bank and checking verification companies. If the criminals set up bank accounts in your name or stole checks you need to close those accounts and stop payment on any outstanding checks. You should then open new checking and savings accounts and contact the major check verification companies to report the theft. Here are some of those companies:
· CheckRite – 800-766-2748
· ChexSystems – 800-428-9623
· Certigy – 800-437-5120
· International Check Services – 800 -526 –5380
· Telecheck – 800-710-9898
If you are being hassled by collection agencies they also need to know that your debt has been compounding. Dealing with collection agencies can be especially aggravating because they are used to dealing with bad debts every day and have heard every excuse for defaulting on a payment. One excuse that they hear frequently is a claim of identity theft. This is where holding that police report that you obtained the minute you realized you were a victim of identity theft can come in very handy!
If credit card companies or credit bureaus are unhelpful in helping you resolve a matter there is also plenty of information on the Federal Trade Commission’s website about how to legally proceed.