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Protect yourself from
If your identity has been stolen or misused
Reports. Make a police report at your local police
department. Possible crimes include theft, mail theft, car
prowling and identity theft. Contact the credit reporting
agencies, your banks, creditors and the check guarantee-verification
companies as soon as possible.
Other Action. Close all compromised accounts.
Open new accounts with new numbers. "Flag" all
other accounts. Obtain passwords for checking and savings
accounts. Stop payment on any outstanding checks you are
Keep detailed records of who you talk to, and when.
If a bill/statement is late, contact customer service
Review your credit reports regularly for additional
Other contacts -- places to find help
- Federal Trade Commission www.ftc.gov
Accepts complaints from ID theft victims: Identity Theft
Hotline: (877) IDTHEFT (438-4338), or Identity Theft Clearinghouse,
FTC, 600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20580.
To request the booklet "ID Theft, When Bad Things Happen
to Your Good Name" call (877) FTC-HELP (382-4357),
or mail a request to the FTC, Consumer Response Center at
the above address.
Find more ID theft information at www.consumer.gov/idtheft
- Social Security Administration. If you believe
your Social Security number has been used by a stranger:
(800) 269-0271, or SSA Fraud Hotline, P.O. Box 17768, Baltimore,
MD 21235. Fax: 410-597-0118. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To order Earnings & Benefits Statement: (800) 772-1213
- U.S. Postal Service. If theft of U.S. Mail is
involved, or if the identity thief filed a change of address
with the post office, contact the U.S. Postal Inspector
- Passports. If you have a passport, notify the
passport office in writing that your identity has been stolen
and to be on the alert for anyone ordering a new passport
in your name.
- Department of Motor Vehicles. If you suspect someone
has obtained a false driver's license in your name or is
using your driver's license number, contact the Department
of Motor Vehicles in your state.
Credit reporting agencies. It is important
to include your Social Security number and current address
when writing to the three credit bureaus.
- Equifax: Opt Out: (888) 567-8688, or P.O. Box
740123, Atlanta, GA 30374-0123. Report fraud: (800) 525-6285.
Order credit report: (800) 685-1111 or www.equifax.com.
- Experian: Opt Out: (402) 458-5247, or Attn: Consumer
Services, 901 West Bond, Lincoln, NE 68521. Report fraud:
(888) 397-3742 or P.O. Box 1017, Allen, TX 75013. Order
credit report: (888) 397-3742 or www.experian.com.
- Trans Union: Opt Out: (888) 567-8688, or Trans
Union LLC's Name Removal Option, P.O. Box 97328, Jackson,
MS 39288-7328. Report fraud: (800) 680-7289 or Fraud Victim
Assistance Dept., P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92634. Order
credit report: (800) 888-4213 or www.transunion.com.
- ChexSystems: Collects bad-check reports from merchants.
To review and dispute incorrect entries: (800) 428-9623,
or Attn: Consumer Relations, 7805 Hudson Rd., Suite 100,
Woodbury, MN 55125 or www.chexhelp.com.
Clearinghouses and other publishers
of personal information. Companies that buy personal information
and sell it, unless you direct them not to:
- Direct Marketing Association Mail Preference Service,
P.O. Box 9008, Farmingdale, NY 11735-9008 and Telephone
Preference Service, P.O. Box 9014, Farmingdale, NY 11735-9014,
- Dun & Bradstreet: Customer Service, 8310 Capitol
of Texas Highway, Austin, TX 78731, www.dnb.com
- Haines & Co., Criss-Cross Directory, 8050
Freedom Ave. NW, North Canton, OH 44720, www.haines.com
- Experian Corp.: List Maintenance, 901 W. Bond,
Lincoln, NE 68521, www.experian.com
- Donnelley Marketing: One American Lane, Greenwich,
CT 06831, www.donnelleymarketing.com
- InfoUSA Inc. & InfoUSA.com: 378 Vintage Park
Drive, Foster City, CA 94404, www.infousa.com
- ADVO, Inc.: One Univac Lane, Windsor, CT 06095,
- R.L. Polk & Co.: 26955 Northwestern Highway,
Southfield, MI 48034, www.polk.com
- Lexis-Nexis and P-Find: ATTN: Lexis-Nexis Name
Removal, P.O. Box 933, Dayton, Ohio, or https://www.lexis-nexis.com/lncc/general/privacy.htm.
Source: King County Prosecutor's
Office, Fraud Division, 900 Fourth Ave., Suite 1002, Seattle,
WA 98164, (206) 296-9010
Illustrations by Brandy Kesl