Identity Theft: You're a Victim
Your identity has been stolen. You've learned someone is pretending to be you and he is spending your money. He got money out of your checking account, got your online bank account password, obtained a credit card in your name or borrowed money that you're expected to repay.
Now, What Do You Do To Protect Yourself?
IdentityTheftChecklist.com is designed to make it easy for you to act quickly to protect yourself from this identity theft.
I own MoneyToys.com, a site which focuses on financial and real estate software for web sites and I remind my friends frequently of matters related to securing one's personal identity and finances. Because of this, friends and acquaintances feel encouraged to contact me when they have identity problems.
IdentityTheftCheckList.com is designed to quickly answer the question, "My identity has been stolen. What do I do?"
Here's an important disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. I am not a financial advisor. I am not an identity theft professional. I do not offer professional advise. I do not offer legal advise. I simply offer a check list of what I would do if my identity were stolen and I share my comments about identity theft with my friends. By using the information available on this web site, you acknowledge that it may be incomplete information and it may not contain all the steps you should follow to respond to identity theft. Friend or stranger, you (and you alone) are responsible for your own behaviors and your use of the information available on IdentityTheftChecklist.com
Now, having warned you, I'll share my Identity Theft Checklist.
1. Unplug your computer from the Internet if you have any financial records on it or use it for online financial transactions.
2. File a Police Report. While your bank or credit card company may downplay this, filing a police report about the identity theft will help you in the future.
3. Place a Fraud Alert on your Credit Reports. Contact information for credit reporting agencies.
4. Locate your wallet or purse and review the contents.
5. Locate all your cards: credit cards and debit cards, your drivers license and your social security card.
6. Report the incident to your credit card company and/or bank.
7. Request replacement credit cards and debit cards with new account numbers and PINs.
8. Obtain and read your account's Terms of Services and follow the precise steps required by the TOS to report the identity theft.
9. Obtain copies of your credit reports. (Regardless of what you read or which ad you click, you do NOT have to pay for this. You're a victim of identity theft. Ask for a copy of your credit report when you contact the Credit Reporting Agencies to place the Fraud Alert on your reports.)
10. Visit the FTC's ID Theft web site and other identity theft web sites to learn more about protecting yourself now and in the future.
11. Monitor your credit reports very closely in the future.