How To File Identity Theft
When someone steals your identity, the first thing you must do is learn how to file identity theft claims. From disbelief to anger, being a victim of identity theft is a roller coaster of emotions. Adding insult to injury, you are more likely to be treated as a criminal than a victim when reporting the fraud. Credit card companies and banks are quick to blame the victim for any charges, to avoid erasing the debt. Your best line of defense is creating a paper trail as early as possible. Here is how to fight back when you are a victim of identity theft.
- Alert the Federal Trade Commission. As soon as you are aware that someone is using your personal information, file a complaint with the FTC. The complaint is entered into the Federal Trade Commissions Identity Theft Data Clearinghouse used by law officers to catch thieves. The ID theft complaint form is located online.
- File a police report. Got to your local police department with a print out of your FTC complaint. Tell them you want to file an identity theft complaint. Be persistent. In larger cities identity theft is not though of as a priority case and officers may not want to take the time to fill out the report. They may also try to convince you it is a domestic issue, where someone you know has taken your identity. Be direct and firm and tell them you want a written report. It is very important that the incident is documented. If they refuse, tell them you want to file what is called a "miscellaneous report." The law enforcement officer needs to incorporate or attach the FTC ID theft complaint in the police report. Do not leave without a copy of the report or having an officer sign your FTC complaint and write the police report number in the "Law Enforcement Report" box.
- Make an identity theft report. An identity theft report is the police report combined with the FTC complaint, detailing the crime. Its purpose is to verify you as the victim, giving you legal protection that will help you recover monetarily from the identity theft. Turn the identity theft report in to the credit reporting agencies and credit card companies to remove debt and to request the files of the fraudulent accounts.