As we live in an increasingly connected world, there are more and more ways to become a victim of identity theft and have your personal information be used fraudulently. If you experience identity theft and you don’t report it, you may still be responsible for fraud and damages committed under your name.
If you think you are a victim of identity theft and someone has stolen your personal information, make sure to report the crime to limit the damage to your finances—and your reputation.
Use the following resources to notify the proper authorities of the identity theft that has occurred and to limit the extent of fraud.
If you suspect that someone has changed your address with the post office or has used the mail to commit identity theft, notify the U.S. Postal Inspector.
Fraud using your Social Security number
If your Social Security number has been used to commit identity theft, contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which is charged with handling most identity theft complaints, at 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338). You can order a copy of your earnings and benefits statement to check whether someone has used your Social Security number to get a job or to avoid paying taxes.
Fraud involving your driver’s license number
If your driver’s license number has been used to open accounts or verify checks, contact your state’s department of motor vehicles.
Fraud involving your passport
Notify the U.S. State Department’s Passport Services Department of identity theft so that it can intercept anyone ordering a new passport in your name. Contact the State Department if you have lost your passport or if it has been stolen.
Bankruptcy filed using your name
If someone filed for bankruptcy using your name, write to the U.S. trustee in the region where the bankruptcy was filed. Your letter should describe the situation and provide proof of your identity.
Additional contact information
If you’re a victim of any kind of identity theft, you should contact the FTC, as noted above, as well as three major credit-reporting bureaus to prevent future damage. The contact information for the bureaus is as follows:
Equifax fraud division
P.O. Box 740250
Atlanta, GA 30374
Experian fraud division
P.O. Box 1017
Allen, TX 75013
Trans Union fraud division
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92634
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