KAET HORIZON Special Report
Support KAET
Join/Renew Now
Contact KAET

Identity Theft Victim's Guide


If you are a victim of identity theft, have been notified that your identifying information has been compromised or stolen or suspect you might be a victim of identity theft, here are the steps you need to take.

1. Alert credit agencies.
Contact one of the three credit reporting agencies and have a 90-day fraud alert placed on your credit file. Once it has been entered into the system at one agency, the two others will automatically be notified to place fraud alerts in your file.

Equifax fraud division
Experian fraud division
Trans Union fraud division
P.O. Box 740250
Atlanta, GA 30374
P.O. Box 1017
Allen, TX 75013
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92634

If you want an extended alert placed on your credit file, you must WRITE to one of the credit agencies. You will need to send an Identity Theft Report as well as phone numbers you can be reached at during the day and evening. Depending on the agency, you can request an extended alert for three, six or 12 months or seven years. The extended alert removes your name from pre-screened offers of credit for 5 years. You will receive a confirmation when an alert is added to your credit file. All three credit reporting agencies will send you free credit reports for you to check for errors or unauthorized accounts. If you find something amiss, contact the credit reporting agency and the financial institution or creditor in question.

2. Contact Creditors.
Make a list of all credit card, banking, phone, or utility accounts that has been tampered with or opened fraudulently. Contact each creditor and close the account. Ask to speak with someone in the security or fraud department of each creditor. If you are not getting the help you need, ask to speak to a supervisor. Follow up by sending a letter closing your accounts in writing, especially credit card accounts. If an unauthorized account has been opened, you can ask for a copy of the application or business transaction records relating to your identity theft. Creditors must provide this information to you for free. Such records may be helpful to prove you are a victim of indentity theft.

3. Call police.
Arizona Revised Statutes 13-2008 makes identity theft a class four felony and requires law enforcement agencies to take a report, even if no immediate loss of money can be verified. Some cities, such as Phoenix, have a unit that specifically handles ID theft.
Phoenix Police Document Crimes Unit: 602.534.5958
Tucson Police Fraud Detail: 520.791.4481 or report online: http://www.ci.tucson.az.us/police/On_Line_Reporting/on_line_reporting.html
Mesa Police Financial Crimes Unit 480.644.211
Glendale Police Investigations 623.930.3300
Tempe Police 480.966.6211
Flagstaff Police Detective Unit 928.779.2701
Yuma Police 928.783.4421

4. File a complaint with the FTC.
You can call the Federal Trade Commission identity theft hotline at 877.438.4338 or file a complaint online at: https://rn.ftc.gov/pls/dod/widtpubl$.startup?Z_ORG_CODE=PU03.

5. Keep detailed records
· Write down the name and phone number of every person you speak with by phone or in person, as well as the day and time of the conversation. The FTC has a printable record keeping sheet: http://www.consumer.gov/idtheft/charts/chart.pdf

· Write down the details of what you’re told.
· Follow up all contacts by phone or in person with a written letter.
· Send all correspondence by certified mail.
· Keep copies of all correspondence or forms that are sent.
· Keep original documentation such as police reports and letters to and from creditors. Send copies only. · If you think your case might lead to a lawsuit, keep track of how much time you spend dealing with the problem.

6. Gather information that can help police and ultimately yourself.
The FTC advises consumers to help police by finding out as much information as they can about the suspect or suspects.

Your Legal Rights
Preventing Identity Theft
Victim's Guide
Transcripts & Video
KAET is a part of Arizona State University
Contact KAET | About KAET | Support KAET | Join/Renew Now
Privacy Policy | Copyright Arizona Board of Regents
Public Broadcasting Service | Arizona State University

KAET broadcasts from the campus of Arizona State University.