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Identity Theft

 
Victims of identity theft must act quickly to minimize the damage. It is very important to keep good notes of all conversations with your financial institutions including a log of the names, dates, and phone numbers of persons you contacted. You should also confirm the information in writing. Sending your letters by certified mail, return receipt requested, will provide you with a record of your correspondence.

Report ID theft to major credit bureaus.  Contact the fraud departments of each of the three major credit bureaus and report that your identity has been stolen. Ask that a "fraud alert" be placed in your file.

Experian
To order a report call: (888) 397-3742
To report fraud call: (888) EXPERIAN

Equifax
To order a report call: (800) 685-1111
To report fraud call: (800) 525-6285

Trans Union
To order a report call: (800) 888-4213
To report a fraud call: (800) 680-7289

File a police report.  Credit card companies and financial institutions may require you to show a copy of this report to verify the crime. Keep the phone number of your investigator and provide it to creditors and others who require verification of your case.

Contact All Creditors.  For any accounts that have been fraudulently accessed or opened, contact the billing inquiries and security departments of the appropriate creditors or financial institutions. Close these accounts. Use passwords - not your mother's maiden name - on any new accounts opened. Confirm your contact in writing. Ask that old accounts be processed as "account closed at consumer's request." Avoid having a "card lost or stolen" reference because when this statement is reported to credit bureaus, it can be interpreted as blaming you for the loss. Carefully monitor your mail and credit card bills and report immediately any new fraudulent activity to credit grantors.

Obtain free copy of your credit report & monitor regularly. As a victim of identity theft, you may obtain a free copy of your credit report and should monitor activity every few months. Ask the credit bureaus for names and phone numbers of credit grantors with whom fraudulent accounts have been opened. Ask the credit bureaus to remove inquiries that have been generated due to fraudulent access. Other consumers seeking a copy of their credit report may be charged a fee.

Experian
To order a report call: (888) 397-3742
To report fraud call: (888) EXPERIAN

Equifax
To order a report call: (800) 685-1111
To report fraud call: (800) 525-6285

Trans Union
To order a report call: (800) 888-4213
To report a fraud call: (800) 680-7289

Contest bills that result from identity theft.  Consumer and privacy advocates suggest not paying any portion of a bill that is a result of identity theft and not filing for bankruptcy. This will involve disputing credit card charges with the card company by writing to the address for "billing error" disputes - not the bill payment address. You should follow the directions given by the credit card company for disputing charges. The company must provide this information. Your credit rating should not be permanently affected, and no legal action should be taken against you as a result of identity theft. If any merchant, financial institution or collection agency suggests otherwise, simply restate your willingness to cooperate, but don't allow yourself to be coerced into paying fraudulent bills. Report such attempts to government regulators immediately.

Report stolen checks and stop payment immediately. If you have had checks stolen or bank accounts set up fraudulently, report it to the appropriate check verification companies. Put stop payments on any outstanding checks that you are unsure of. Cancel your checking and savings accounts and obtain new account numbers. Give the bank a secret password for your account (not your mother's maiden name). If your own checks are rejected at stores where you shop, contact the check verification company that the merchant uses. To report fraudulent use of your checks;
 
CheckRite: (800) 766-2748 
Chexsystems: (800) 428-9623
CrossCheck: (800) 843-0760 
Equifax: (800) 437-5120
International Check Services: (800) 631-9656
SCAN: (800) 262-7771
TeleCheck: (800) 710-9898
 
Report stolen ATM cards and change passwords immediately.  Get a new ATM card, account number and password. Don't use common numbers like the last four digits of your SSN or your birth date. Monitor your account statement.

For suspected fraudulent change of address, notify local postal inspector.  Call the U.S. Post Office at (800) 275-8777 to obtain the phone number for your local postal inspector. Find out where fraudulent credit cards were sent. Notify the local Postmaster for that address to forward all mail in your name to your own address. You may also need to talk with the mail carrier.

Report misuse of social security number by calling the social security administration.  Order a copy of your personal Earnings and Benefit Statement by calling (800) 772-1213 and check it for accuracy. The thief might be using your SSN for employment purposes. If you suspect fraud, call the Social Security Administration at (800) 269-0271.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Oakland University Police at (248) 370-3331.