Information on Reporting Identity Theft/Fraud
Tell the FTC
Filing a report with the FTC helps with fraud investigation and can help with investigations across multiple jurisdictions. The information can helpt policy makers and businesses create better remedies and prevent identity theft. An ID Theft Affidavit from the FTC may also help in disputing charges.
To limit the disclosure of your personal information, contact your banks, mortgage brokers, and the three major credit bureaus to tell them you want to opt out of programs that share personal information. The Direct Marketing Association's Mail Preference Service lets you register to receive less commercial advertising mail.
Inform Credit Agencies
Contact one of the three major credit reporting agencies to report fraud. The agency will place a fraud alert on your credit report and notify the other two agencies. This alert will tell creditors that they must contact you before authorizing any charges or changes to your existing accounts or the opening of new accounts.
File a Police Report
Many organizations require proof that you are a victim of identity theft in the form of a police report. If you know where the fraudulent actions occurred, contact the authroities in that community. Otherwise, contact the local authorities.
If someone asks for your personal information, find out what it will be used for and why he needs the information. Be extra cautious when giving out information over the phone if you did not initiate the conversation. Don't be afraid to hang up the phone and call back at a phone number corresponding to your bill to verify the caller's legitimacy.
The information contained on this web page, along with the information in the Important Contact Information link at the bottom of the page, is quoted from "Preventing Identity Theft," compiled by Joanna Safford, and published in the December 2009 issue of PC Today.