A guide for victims of identity theft, detailing what to do, and who to contact.
Step by Step
- Step 1 Report the incident to the fraud department of the three major credit bureaus.
- Step 2 Contact the fraud department of each of your creditors.
- Step 3 Contact your bank or financial institution.
- Step 4 Report the incident to law enforcement.
- What else can I do?
- Minimize your risk
This kit is designed to help you through the process of resolving your identity theft case and clearing your name. While there are many general identity theft resource guides available, this kit was specifically developed to provide assistance to Floridians who are identity theft victims, as well as individuals in other states who had their personal information fraudulently used in the state of Florida.
Navigating through the system as an identity theft victim can be a lengthy and confusing process. As you contact law enforcement, creditors, and financial institutions, it is important that you keep track of the actions you take. You may want to use this course of action form to help you retain a record of your progress.
When your identity is stolen your personal identifiers can be misused in a variety of different ways. As soon as you become aware that your information has been misused, there are several basic steps you should take that apply to nearly all kinds of identity theft cases:
Report the incident to the fraud department of the three major credit bureaus.
1. Ask the credit bureaus to place a "fraud alert" on your credit report.
2. Order copies of your credit reports so you can review them to see if any additional fraudulent accounts have been opened in your name or if any unauthorized charges have been made to other accounts.
3. Request a victim's statement that asks creditors to contact you prior to opening new accounts or making changes to any existing accounts.
P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
To order your report: 1-800-685-1111
To report fraud: 1-888-766-0008
Fraud Victim Assistance
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19016-2000
To order your report: 1-800-888-4213
To report fraud: 1-800-680-7289
P.O. Box 4500
Allen, TX 75013
To order your report: 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742)
To report fraud: 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742)
Contact the fraud department of each of your creditors.
Gather the contact information for each of your credit accounts (credit cards, utilities, cable bills, etc.) and call the fraud department for each creditor.
Report the incident to each creditor, even if your account at that institution has not been tampered with. Close the accounts that you believe have been compromised. Ask the credit bureaus to place an "alert" on any accounts that remain open.
Follow-up in writing immediately. The Federal Trade Commission provides an Identity Theft Affidavit, a standardized form used to report new accounts fraudulently opened in your name. Check with the company to see if they accept this form. If not, request that they send you their fraud dispute form. You may access this form electronically at https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/, along with other pertinent information on filing a complaint, scam information, and the Do Not Call list.”
Confirm all conversations in writing. Follow behind your phone call with a letter and any necessary documentation to support your claim.
Contact your bank or financial institution.
If your checks have been stolen, or if you believe they have been used, contact your bank or credit union and stop payment right away.
Put stop payments on any outstanding checks that you are unsure about.
Contact the major check verification companies and request they notify retailers who use their databases not to accept your checks:
TeleCheck 1-800-710-9898 or 927-0188
Cetergy, Inc 1-800-437-5120
If you suspect your accounts have been compromised, cancel your checking and savings accounts and obtain new account numbers.
Report the incident to law enforcement.
Contact your local police department or sheriffs office to file a report. Under Florida law, the report may be filed in the location in which the offense occurred, or, the city or county in which you reside.
When you file the report, provide as much documentation as possible, including copies of debt collection letters, credit reports, and your notarized ID Theft Affidavit.
Request a copy of the police report. Some creditors will request to see the report to remove the debts created by the identity thief.
What else can I do?
File a complaint with the FTC's Identity Theft Clearinghouse
The Clearinghouse is the federal government's repository for ID theft complaints. Complaint information is entered into a central database, the Consumer Sentinel, which is accessed by many local and state law enforcement agencies in Florida, as well as Florida's Attorney General, for identity theft investigations. Call the toll-free hotline at 1-877-IDTHEFT or complete an online complaint form
Flag your Florida Driver's License.
At your request, the Fraud Section of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles will place a flag on your driver's license if you are a victim of identity theft (regardless of whether your Florida Driver's License has been compromised). To reach the Fraud Section, call 850-617-2405. You will be asked to submit your request in writing to:
Bureau of Motorist Services Support
Fraud Section, Mail Stop 84, Room A327
2900 Apalachee Parkway
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0570
If you believe that the identity thief has actually used your personal information to secure a Florida Driver's License or Identification Card, DHSMV will conduct a fraud investigation. To initiate this investigation, complete the DHSMV Identity Theft Report Form and mail it to the address above. Click here to find indentity theft and driver license fraud information.
Get assistance through Florida's Fraud Hotline.
Florida's Attorney General provides a toll-free fraud hotline for Floridians who are the victims of Fraud. Contact the hotline at 1-866-9-NO-SCAM (1-866-966-7226). Trained advocates can help provide additional resource information in your area.
Check your Florida criminal history information.
In some instances of identity theft, a victim may be faced with a criminal record for a crime he or she did not commit. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) can provide a Compromised Identity Review (based on a fingerprint comparison of state criminal history files) to determine what, if any, criminal history belongs to you, and if any arrest records have been falsely associated with you as a result of someone using your identity. If a fingerprint check determines you are an identity theft victim, FDLE will work with local law enforcement agencies to attempt to clear fraudulent data from the criminal history files and provide you with a Compromised Identity Certificate.
Click here for more information.
Contact the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
After you have filed a report with local law enforcement and with the FTC's Identity Theft Clearinghouse, you may contact FDLE. FDLE Special Agents who work identity theft cases may be able to provide additional guidance and assistance. Click here to find your nearest FDLE Regional Operations Center.
Remove your personal identifiers from Florida court records.
Any person has the right to request the Clerk or County Recorder to redact/remove his or her Social Security number, bank account number, credit, debit or charge card number from an image or copy of an Official Record that has been placed on such Clerk's/County Recorder's publicly available Internet website, or in a court file.
If you believe your personal information appears in a publicly available record, contact your County Clerk's Office to initiate a request. A listing of all County Clerks can be found at http://www.flclerks.com. Information on how to safeguard your confidential information with the courts go to http://www.flclerks.com/?page=hdi_protect_identity&terms=%22redact+and+personal+and+information%22.
Report Mail Theft to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service will investigate if your mail has been stolen by an identity thief and used to obtain new credit or commit fraud. Incidents should be reported to your nearest U.S. Postal Inspection Service district office.
Report Passport Fraud to the U.S. Department of State.
If your passport is lost or stolen or you believe it is being used fraudulently, contact your local Department of State field office. For more information go to: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/after/lost-stolen.html
Protect your Social Security number.
The Social Security Administration can verify the accuracy of the earnings reported on your social security number. To check for inaccuracies or fraud, order a copy of your Personal Earnings and Benefit Estimate Statement (PEBES) from the Social Security Administration. Call 1-800-772-1213 or visit www.ssa.gov.
Minimize your risk
Learn more about what you can do to protect the privacy of your personal information by reading our prevention tips, and visiting the Federal Trade Commission's Identity Theft Website.
- Identity Theft Affidavit
A standardized report form to provide to companies in which a new account was fraudulently opened in your name.
- FTC Complaint Form
This online form transmits your complaint to the Federal Trade Commission's Identity Theft Clearinghouse.
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