District Attorney's Office – Identity Theft Procedures & Precautions
What Do I Do if I've Been a Victim of Identity Theft?
Contact the fraud departments of each of the three major credit bureaus. Tell them to flag your file with a fraud alert, including a statement that creditors should get your permission before opening any new accounts in your name. At the same time, ask the credit bureaus for copies of your credit reports – they must give you a free copy if you believe it to be inaccurate because of fraud. Review the report carefully, and notify the credit bureaus of any mistakes or fraudulent activity.
Contact the creditors for any accounts that have been tampered with or opened fraudulently. Ask to speak with someone in the security or fraud department, and tell them what has happened. Record who you spoke with and when, then ask them for the number of their direct line. Finally, follow up your conversation with a letter.
File a report with your local law enforcement agency, or the agency located where the identity theft occurred. Keep copies of this report because some creditors may want proof.
Every case of identity theft is a little different. The actions needed to repair the damage will depend upon the way in which you were victimized. You may need to:
- Check for address changes with your local postal inspector.
- Close checking, savings, or credit accounts that were fraudulently accessed.
- Contact the Social Security Administration to check if your number has been used by an imposter to obtain employment.
- Contact the local DMV and verify that no fraudulent licenses have been issued in your name or with your Social Security number.
Repairing your good name (and credit) will take a lot of time and energy. It will be beneficial for you to get as much help and information as possible. There are links below to some websites that are great resources on identity theft. It may be a good idea to solicit the support and help of friends or family members. Resolving the effects of identity theft can be very stressful, so don't bear the burden alone.
The first page of this section has information on personal information and how it is vulnerable.