What can I do if I am a victim of identity theft?

You apply for a credit card and are turned down because of a low credit score, yet you know that you’ve always paid your accounts on time.

A debt collector calls to demand payment on a six-month overdue account for a credit card you have never had.

You receive a credit card in the mail that you’ve never applied for.

What’s happening? You could be the victim of identity theft, where an imposter is using your personal information to obtain credit illegally. Then when the thief does not pay the bills, the creditor itself or a debt collection company contacts you to demand payment. As a result, your credit reports are likely to contain negative information about your bill payment history and your credit scores have probably been lowered considerably, making it difficult or impossible to obtain new credit yourself.

Victims of identity theft must act quickly and assertively to minimize the damage.

Here are a few things you can do.

1.  Notify all 3 credit bureaus and establish fraud alerts.

2.  Monitor your 3 credit reports for any other fraudulent accounts or inquiries.

3.  You may want to place a security freeze on your 3 credit reports.

4.  You may want to notify law enforcement.

5.  You may want to notify the Federal Trade Commission.

What to do with new credit accounts opened by the imposter. 

1.  Contact the credit bureaus and creditors immediately to notify them of the fraud.

2.  Ask businesses to stop reporting fraudulent accounts to the credit bureaus. Ask the credit bureaus to delete fraudulent accounts. (Sending a copy of your police report or FTC identity theft report can help.)

3.  Fill out fraud affidavits.

4.  Ask for a letter stating that the disputed account has been closed and deleted from your credit reports. 

You can work to correct the effects of identity fraud on your own (it's your right), but you can also hire a professional to help you if you feel to overwhelmed or even simply too busy to handle the process alone. HOPE4USA educates and assists our clients in remedying the effects of identity fraud. If you would like to know more please call us at 704-499-9696. We are waiting for your call.