The office of the attorney general has published a page on its website dedicated to those who are victims, or suspect they may be victims, of identity theft. Identity theft is currently among the fastest growing crimes in America. It affected approximately 10 million victims in 2008 (a 22% increase from 2007). During these hard economic times, it is vital that each individual protect their financial resources. A large part of doing so is protecting their identity from being duplicated by unscrupulous individuals who might venture to defraud banks and financial institutions in their name.
The attorney general suggests that one of the first things you do if you are a victim of identity theft is to contact the fraud departments of each of the three major credit bureaus and report that your identity has been stolen. Ask that a “fraud alert” be placed in your file. Police reports should also be filed with local police or with the police where the theft occurred. Getting a copy of the police report and retaining it for your records is also very important.
Once the proper authorities have been identified, it is time to begin the process of contacting all of your creditors. Accounts that have been compromised and have fraudulent charges should be closed. Most creditors now have fraud and identity theft departments. Informing these departments of your situation and providing them with copies of your police reports is very important. Carefully monitor your mail and credit card bills and report immediately any new fraudulent activity to credit grantors.
Finally, it is of the utmost importance that anyone who has been a victim or suspects that they may be a victim of identity theft, obtain copies of their credit reports and monitor them frequently. There are many new services on the market that offer to do just that; alerting you if somebody tries to open an account in your name.
This article is provided as a free service by Wallin & Klarich for their blog readers. For more information, please see the full article on the Attorney General’s website: http://www.ag.ca.gov/idtheft/tips.htm. You can also contact us today at 1-888-280-6839 to find out more about your case, or visit us online at www.wklaw.com to learn more about what can be done.