What to do if you're a Victim of Fraud?Fraud Triangle

  1. File a report with your local law enforcement agency (police or sheriff’s department) and request a copy of the report.
  2. Order a copy of your credit report from each of the three major reporting agencies (see above) and make a list of any unauthorized accounts opened in your name. Then send a letter to the three credit reporting agencies listing the accounts opened without your permission, along with a copy of the police report. Request that they remove all incorrect information and send you a corrected report. 
  3. Send a letter with a copy of the police report to each company where a new account was opened in your name. Tell them that the account is fraudulent and request a copy of the application forms and any other information they have about the applicant. 
  4. Give the police a copy of the fraudulent application forms and any other information you are able to obtain. 
  5. If a creditor (a company that thinks you owe it money) contacts you, send a letter disputing any charges made without your permission. Enclose a copy of the police report and any fraudulent application forms and other information you have obtained. 
  6. If a collection agency contacts you, send a letter with a copy of the police report to the original creditor (not the collection agency) explaining you are not responsible for the debt and requesting they stop trying to collect from you. Send a copy to the collection agency, too. 
  7. Do not pay any unauthorized charges. 
  8. Notify every institution with which you have a legitimate financial account that you are a victim of identity theft. Request that your credit cards be canceled and replaced with new ones. Consider closing bank accounts and opening new ones instead – discuss this with your bank. 
  9. If your identifying documents are stolen, contact the appropriate agency to place a fraud alert on your record. For example, if your driver’s license is stolen, contact the Department of Motor Vehicles immediately. Report the identity theft to your utility companies to prevent a thief from transferring your account to another address to satisfy residency requirements for government benefits. Report stolen mail to your post office so it will stop delivering your mail and hold it until you pick it up.