Identity Theft Victims - First Steps to Safeguard Your Information
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Subject: Identity Theft Victims: First Steps to Safeguard Your Information         

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August 15, 2006

Identity Theft Victims: First Steps to Safeguard Your Information

Technology has made it easier for criminals to get personal information—making identity theft one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States. Protecting your personal information can help prevent identity theft. 

If you think you are a victim of identity theft, here's what to do:           

1. Contact the fraud departments of any one of the three consumer reporting companies below to place a fraud alert on your credit report.  You need to contact only one of the three companies. The company you call must contact the other two, and they will also place an alert on their versions of your credit report. 

1-800-525-6285 P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241

Experian 1-888-397-3742 P.O. Box 9532, Allen, TX 75013

TransUnion 1-800-680-7289
Fraud Victim Assistance Division P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834-6790

The fraud alert tells creditors to contact you before opening any new accounts or making changes to your existing accounts.  Once you place the fraud alert in your file, you may order free copies of your credit reports.            

2. Close bank and/or credit card accounts that you know or believe have been tampered with or opened fraudulently. Use the ID theft affidavit,, to dispute new unauthorized accounts. 

3. File a report with your local police or the police in the community where the identity theft took place. Get a copy of the report, or at least the number of the report, to submit to your creditors and others that require proof of the crime.             
4. File your complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC maintains a database of identity theft cases used by law enforcement agencies for investigations. 

Identity Theft Resources

YNCS Don Harribine, USN(ret)