THE POLICE REPORT
police. The very best course of action is to get the police
to come to the scene of the crime, fill out a report
on the spot and give you a copy. If this is not possible,
call them as soon as possible. Even if you show no sign of
a break-in, but your checkbooks are all spread out over your
desk, ask to have a report filed, the police may see how
someone got in that you didn’t
know to look for. If your home has been obviously broken
into but you don’t notice that your papers have
been gone through- assume that they have. After you
report the crime, ask that they mail you a copy of
the police report. But remember, the wheels of government
take quite a long time to get your police report in the mail.
You may be unable to clear your name fully until the police
report comes back, which may take several months if you don’t
ask for it immediately or offer to go down to the station
and pick it up. (If the wallet or purse was lost, also report
this to the police.
Make sure to tell them that it was lost and possibly
stolen). If you have a series of occurrences, get police
every time and keep them in a safe place. If later
it proves to be only one perpetrator, you want to be able
prove several different offenses by the paper trail
that you are collecting.
report is the most important piece of paper you will possess
when clearing your name. Without it you are in for
a rough ride. Everyone requires a police report as proof
you were a victim of crime, and not a bad check writer or
someone who abuses the credit that was extended to you. In
identity theft, you are guilty until proven innocent. The
police report is your proof. Make sure the report contains
a list of items that were stolen. These items may include
books of checks from possibly several different accounts,
driver's license, identification
cards, credit cards, ATM cards, Social Security cards
and passports. All of this should be listed on the
police report along with cellular telephones, pagers and
other items you need to include.
you report the crime, the Police will give you a case number.
it down in your “Identity Theft” notebook and
put the police report in your “Identity Theft” envelope!
Write down the name and badge number of the officer
who took your call, the officer who will handle your case,
and also any other information the police provide you with.
Write this information in your “Identity theft” Notebook,
or file it in your Identity theft envelope!
before you hang up, ask the police officer that a copy of
the police report be mailed to you at your home address. Ask
him if there's anything you can do to expedite the
report process such as picking up the
the crime, take your car to the Police department to have
it dusted for fingerprints if the theft included an auto
break-in. Obtaining a successful set of fingerprints from
is difficult. It's up to you if you want to go through
the trouble. You should work with the law enforcement in
any way to give the police every opportunity to apprehend
the perpetrator. Who knows, there could be a fingerprint
after getting through with the police, immediately contact
all three credit reporting agencies, let them know
what happened and ask for fraud alerts to be put on
your credit report at all three agencies.
This will immediately stop a perpetrator from being
able to get any more credit in your name without your authority.
Explain to each credit agency that you have been a
victim of identity theft. Tell them what happened.
You will be
removed from a list the agencies provide for instant
credit. We now have a direct link to the
credit reporting agencies on the VAA home page. Just
click on the CREDIT REPORTS Button and it will link
you to all three.
a fraud alert or protective statement be added to your credit
file. Be sure to ask how long the
statement will remain on your credit file. Make sure
it stays on for a at least a year. Ask
for a permanent one – if they won’t
do that mark your calendar and keep one in place
at all times so that you are less likely to have
a problem again. When a credit grantor accesses your
credit file and sees the fraud alert, they should
you on your home phone to verify that it was you
requested the credit. Because this is
not fail proof we recommend that you also ask to
have a PIN or password added to your whole credit
Do this with all three credit reporting agencies.
a fraud alert with all three credit agencies. Merchants,
whom your perpetrator may go to, applying for credit or to
open an account of some type, may call you to verify an
account opening. If you have not tried to open an account
personally, tell them about the identity theft immediately
and another potential theft under your good name can
possibly be stopped in its tracks. If they are calling you
directly from the store and the perpetrator is standing there
waiting for instant credit, ask them to contact the police
and have him arrested. Give them the # on your police report,
the police department that filed it along with the officers
name and badge number so that the law enforcement in the
area can trace that and hopefully apprehend a perpetrator.
Also, depending on how long ago the robbery took place, ask
agency if there is any recent activity on
your file. Request a current copy of your report be
sent to you. There should
be no charge if possible fraud is suspected.
are companies available that collect, report and investigate
returned checks. If any bad checks are written with
your information, you will want to call these agencies. It
may not hurt to try and contact them and prevent a problem
before it occurs. The contact numbers are listed here in
case you want to try and get a jump start on the thieves.
|CHECK REPORTING AGENCIES
|CRA SECURITY SYSTEMS
|EQUIFAX RISK MANAGEMENT SERVICES
|INTERNATIONAL CHECK SERVICES(ICS)
|NATIONAL PROCESSING COMPANY
|SHARED CHECK AUTHORIZATION NEWWORK (SCAN)
got your police report, you’ve
contacted the credit reporting agencies. Get comfortable. Put
your Identity Theft Binder in front of you and start by calling
your bank or banks. Explain that your purse was stolen with ID
and checks, and you need to close your account. Figure out if
there are any outstanding checks, and leave enough
money in your old account to cover these for a few days.
If you are unsure about outstanding checks, request a stop
payment order. Take the bulk of your money and open a new
account with a new number. If you have overdraft protection,
you want to make sure it is not in force, or it may be used
to pay for your stolen checks that
a perpetrator is writing in your name. Cancel your ATM card
and have another one issued. Write down the name of the person
you speak with along with other info listed above.
Ask your bank
to require a personal password of anyone accessing your account.
When you go to the bank to make a deposit or withdrawal, the
teller will ask you the password
before your transaction. This will not affect your ability
to call the bank for account information. It will not affect
your ATM or writing checks to merchants,
it will stop a perpetrator.
Next, if you
do not have your cards listed with a credit card protection agency,
you need to start calling and canceling credit cards. If you
don't remember which ones you were carrying, go through all of
paid bills and canceled checks and try and figure out which ones
you may have had. If you are not sure if you had a particular
card, call anyway and cancel it.
major credit cards, gasoline cards, department store cards, phone
cards, library cards, AAA cards, video store cards If someone
checks a video or book out in your name
and then does not return it, you will be liable. This may
take awhile. Use your credit reports that the credit reporting
agencies supplied to you and go down
the list and cancel everything for good measure if you are
sure what the perpetrator has. You may ask to have new cards
and pin numbers reissued in a different account number as
you cancel the old ones. Just get the old ones cancelled
as quickly as possible. Your perpetrator is shopping and
don’t know what he’ll choose to use first.
Call the Department
of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and report that your driver's license
was stolen. You may not get much reaction from them in this initial
call. For instance, in California,
you need to request a form called (DL 11). Hold onto it for
later. To change your driver's license number, someone actually
has to have committed fraud using
your driver's license, so you can't have the number changed
yet. For the steps needed to have your driver's license number
changed, please select "REPAIRING BAD
Security and tell them that your Social Security card was stolen.
In some cases you may be able to get another number, but this
may result in future complications. At
any rate, you may want to order a new card.
The number for the Social Security Administration is (800)
269-0271. They will also send you information on what to do
if someone misuses your social security card.
Call the Passport
Agency to report a stolen passport. Ask for the form for reporting
a lost or stolen passport. Fill the form out and send it back.
Do not request another passport at this
time. For some reason, it's better to submit one request
at a time, or the wheels of government get confused and crank
a halt, and you have to duplicate
your efforts. Number for Passport information is 1-900-225-5674.
Please note a fee is charged for using this number. Or check
your local phone book.
your cellular phone reported as stolen, see what your company
advises that you do. They may want to leave it on to see
if the perpetrator makes any calls. This could help the
police more easily catch the person who did this crime. You may
saddled with a few expensive calls,
but it may be worth it. Give them authorization to contact
the police immediately if any call is made on your phone. Give
them the # on your police report,
the police department that filed it along with the officers
name and badge number so that the law
enforcement in the store’s area can trace that and
hopefully apprehend a perpetrator. They will advise you
if you should automatically cancel the phone after say
one week if no calls are made.
Postal Inspector if you suspect mail theft. Theft of mail
is a felony. See ID Theft Links for this info.
Once you have
done all of the above, we suggest that you contact an advocate
Assistance of America, Inc (VAA) and let them know what your
problem was and what youÕve done so far so that we can see if
there is anything else in your situation that you should in fact
be doing. Never just discount a problem without checking with
us, or if you seem to have a continuing problem Ð definitely
contact us to see if there is something else (in your specific
situation) that should be done that we can recommend or help
If an identity
theft does still occur, take solace in the fact that you will
out financially, and check out
the rest of VAA's victim and advocacy links throughout
the site for additional
help especially the ID
Theft Prevention Checklist Located
in the left hand column of buttons in the Checklist Menu
at the top. or contact one
of our advocates if you’d
like further help or have questions.
VAA is helping
1500 victims per day now.
If you’d like to know what VAA does to help a victim,
check out this link:
http://victimsassistanceofamerica.org/eduinfo/idtheft_faq.cfm and scroll down to this question for that information: I
hope that you will reconsider your harsh language regarding
services to help I.D. Theft victims.