Saturday, October 21, 2006

Dealing With Identity Theft & Fraud

I got a lot of emails some arguing that I "really wasn't a victim of identity theft" and so on. Well lets look at the definition of identity theft: " Identity theft occurs when someone wrongfully acquires or uses another person's personal data, typically for their own financial gain. Sometimes it is referred to as "identity fraud" since the criminal impersonates rather than 'removes' the victim's identity.Most commonly, this term is used in relation to credit card fraud although mortgage fraud and other kinds of financial fraud are common. " (

Here are the some steps to follow:

  1. Do not give out personal financial information or other private information to anyone over the phone or online.
  2. Check your credit reports frequently. Remember you get one free credit report a year from each of the three credit bureaus. Visit
  3. Review your credit card bills, and other financial accounts at least once a month.
  4. Look for missing statements in the mail. Switch to e-statements if you prefer.
In case you are a victim of identity theft:
  1. Contact the account administrator and close the account. File a claim.
  2. File a police report. This will be crucial depending on your case.
  3. Contact all three credit bureaus.
  • Equifax: P.O. Box 105069, Atlanta, GA 30348
    Report fraud: Call (800) 525-6285

  • Experian: P.O. Box 9532, Allen, TX 75013
    Report fraud: Call (888) EXPERIAN (888-397-3742)

  • TransUnion: P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834
    Report fraud: (800) 680-7289

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