Reporting Identity Theft To Police: Steps To Take And Things To Know
If someone steals your identity, youll probably want to know how to report identity theft to police. The good news: You can find that information here.
But heres something else you should know: In most cases, you dont need to report identity theft to the police. Thats according to the Federal Trade Commission. Instead, you can report the crime on the FTC website IdentityTheft.gov.
This article can help guide you in filing a police report when you need to. Heres what youll learn.
- When to report identity theft to the police
- How filing a police report helps you
- Steps to take when reporting ID theft to the police
- Tips for filing a police report
Should You File A Police Report After Identity Theft
Through April 20, 2022, Experian, TransUnion and Equifax will offer all U.S. consumers free weekly credit reports through AnnualCreditReport.com to help you protect your financial health during the sudden and unprecedented hardship caused by COVID-19.
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If you believe you’re a victim of identity theft, there are several steps you need to take to help rectify the situation. But is filing a police report one of them? You should file a police report after identity theft if you can provide evidence for the investigation, know the person or group responsible for the theft, or are asked for a report by a creditor or other entity.
Depending on how and what type of information is stolen, scammers may use your identity to siphon money from your financial accounts, open new accounts such as credit cards or phone plans, commit tax fraud, or apply for government benefits. In 2020, 1.4 million Americans filed identity theft reports, according to the Federal Trade Commission, a 29% increase over the previous year. The most common form of ID theft involved scammers using stolen information to apply for or receive government benefits, such as unemployment insurance.
Read on to find out the steps you need to take if you’re a victim of identity theft, and when a police report may be necessary to help resolve the issue.
Write To The Credit Bureaus
Write a letter to each credit bureau. Repeat what you said in your telephone call . Send copies of your police report and completed ID Theft Affidavit. Remind the credit bureaus that they must block or remove any information that you, as an identity theft victim, say is a result of the theft. Send your letters by certified mail, return receipt requested. Keep a copy of each letter. See the Sample Letter to Credit Bureaus on page 7.
P.O. Box 2000Chester, PA 19016
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Report Identity Theft/fraud Now
Please note: Before you file an identity theft/fraud report:
- Verify that your documents are still in your possession, and haven’t been lost or stolen. If your documents have been lost or stolen, please file a lost property, theft or theft from a vehicle report instead. Do not file an identify theft/fraud report.
- Notify any financial institutions and other companies where you have an account that may have been affected
How To Request Records Contained In A Major Collision File
Major Collision Bureau investigates all Motor Vehicle Collisions resulting in a fatality or serious personal injury that occur in the Region of Peel.
If you are NOTthe Involved Party to the Collision
You must provide proof of relationship to the involved party and a signed consent on behalf of the involved individual.
If the Involved Individual is Deceased
You are required to provide an authorization from the legal representative or power of attorney with supporting documents.
***Do Not Send Payment Until You Have Been Invoiced***
Please contact Martine Renwick, Information and Privacy Unit at or email at for additional assistance.
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When Should I Call Police Instead
- If you have a known suspect. If you know the name or address of the suspect, or if you know the license plate of the vehicle associated to the suspect, please contact Peel Regional Police at 905-453-3311
- If the value of theft, loss or property damage is more than $10,000.00
- If your vehicle has been stolen
- If the incident occurred outside of Brampton or Mississauga. Please contact the police service responsible for the area in which the incident occurred
- If someone broke into, or attempted to break into your home, garage or business
- If this is the theft or loss of a firearm
- If this is related to any form of personal violence, including domestic violence.
- If this is related to any kind of vandalism or graffiti that could be hate motivated
- If this is related to a traffic complaint that is in progress
Use The Id Theft Affidavit
Creditors may ask you to fill out fraud affidavits. The Federal Trade Commissions ID Theft Affidavit is accepted by the credit bureaus and by most major creditors. Send copies of the completed form to creditors where the thief opened accounts in your name. Also send copies to creditors where the thief made charges on your account, to the credit bureaus, and to the police. The form is available on the FTC Web site at ww.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/resources/forms/affidavit.pdf. File a complaint of identity theft with the FTC. See their Web site at www.consumer.gov/idtheft The FTC keeps a database of identity theft cases that is used by many law enforcement agencies.
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Do You Know How To Report Identity Theft
Your first reaction upon realizing that youre a victim of identity theft might be shock and anger, but you dont have a lot of time to spend on the emotional impact of the ordeal. The longer a thief uses your identity, the harder it may become to repair the damage. Reacting quickly and decisively to identity theft is the first important step toward putting it behind you. Here are a few of the first steps you should take.
If You Are Wrongly Accused Of A Crime Committed By An Identity Thief
“Criminal identity theft” is a label given to a particular type of identity theft. Criminal identity theft occurs when a suspect in a criminal investigation identifies himself or herself using the identity of another, innocent person. A special database in the California Department of Justice can help victims of this kind of identity theft. See our Consumer Information Sheet 8: How to Use the California Identity Theft Registry- A Guide for Victims of “Criminal” Identity Theft.
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What Happens After I File A Report Online
- Upon submitting your completed report online, you will see the words Your online police report has been submitted indicating your report is complete.
- You will receive an email with a temporary case number until police have reviewed the report. Check your junk email folder if you do not receive the email in your inbox.
- Once a police officer has approved the online report, you will be notified and provided a permanent case number.
- The accuracy of the information you provide in the report greatly assists Peel Regional Police Service in investigating your incident. Please ensure the report is as complete and concise as possible.
Notify The Company Involved
Contact the business or lender with whom the fraudulent transaction took place. Close the account in question, whether its one youve had for a while or one that the thief opened in your name. Make sure creditors mark the account as closed upon your request a notation that your credit card was lost or stolen can have a negative effect on your credit report.
There may be more than one transaction involved, and you might encounter some resistance, especially from smaller businesses that dont fully understand your dilemma. Insist on receiving copies of all paperwork involved in the transactions anyway.
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Step : Make Sure Your Occurrence Can Be Reported Online
Use the information below to see if you can use this system. If your occurrence qualifies for online reporting, proceed to the next step. If your occurrence does not qualify for online reporting, it cannot be accepted by the officer managing online reporting. These occurrences require contact with a local OPP officer for investigation. Please call the OPP toll-free at 1-888-310-1122 to file a report. Links to external websites including those with video, digital images or documents that are not supported by this application cannot be managed through this online reporting service. Please include a narrative description of the occurrence if you will be filing an online report.
If Your Debit Card Or Number Is Stolen
A debit card is an ATM card with a credit card logo on it. It accesses money directly from your bank account, and the legal protections are different from those for credit cards. If your debit card is compromised, call your bank right away and cancel the card. The bank will send you a new debit card and your checking account number will not change. The stolen money, however, will be gone while your bank investigates the matter. If you call the bank within two business days of the fraudulent transaction, your liability is limited to only $50. As time goes by, your liability for fraudulent transactions increases. If you wait more than 60 business days from the date the bank mailed the statement with the fraudulent transaction, you could lose the entire amount of the fraud.
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If Your Mail Was Stolen Or Your Address Changed By An Identity Thief
Notify the Postal Inspector if you think an identity thief has stolen your mail or filed a change of address request in your name. To find the nearest Postal Inspector, look in the white pages of the telephone book for the Post Office listing under United States Government. Or go to the Postal Inspection Services Web site at www.usps.gov/websites/depart/inspect.
Review Your Credit Reports Carefully
When you receive your credit reports, read them carefully. Look for accounts you dont recognize. Look in the inquiries section for names of creditors from whom you havent requested credit. You may find some inquiries identified as promotional. These occur when a company has gotten your name and address from a credit bureau to send you an offer of credit. Promotional inquiries are not signs of fraud. Also, as a general precaution, look in the personal information section to verify your Social Security number, address and name.
If you find anything you dont understand, call the credit bureau at the telephone number listed on the report. Tell them you want to block, or remove, any information on the report that is the result of identity theft. For more on what to tell the credit bureaus, see the Privacy Rights Clearinghouses Identity Theft: What to Do When It Happens to Youwww.privacyrights.org/fs/fs17a.htm
What Types Of Reports Can I File Online
- Damage/Mischief to Motor Vehicle under $10,000.00
- Damage/Mischief to Property under $10,000.00
- Lost Property under $10,000.00
- Theft of Property – under $10,000.00
- Theft from Motor Vehicle – under $10,000.00
- Supplemental Report
- Driving Complaints Road Watch:- Constant Neighborhood traffic related issues- School bus violations.
Incidents To Report Online
Effective March 1, 2017, the following incidents must be reported using the LPD Police Online Citizen Reporting System:
The following are requirements to submit an online police report:
- The incident you wish to report is not an emergency.
- This incident occurred within the Longview City limits.
- There are no known suspects.
- The incident did not occur on a State Freeway.
- You must have a valid email address.
If you meet the requirements, you are ready to file your report online. Please make sure to turn off your pop-up-blocking software before filing the report. If you answered no to any of the questions, please view our Online Citizen Police Report FAQs.
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Resources For Victims Of Identity Theft
If you find or even suspect that your personal identifying information has been misused by someone without your consent, you may be the victim of identity theft. If this happens, act immediately. When it comes to identity theft, the sooner you act, the more likely you are to get help in stopping or minimizing the damage.
TIP: Nearly half of all identity theft occurs when a wallet or purse is missing or stolen.
Step 1: Report Identity Theft to the OFallon Police Department
Report your problem to the OFallon Police Department if you live within City limits or if the crime occurred in the City of OFallon. To contact the OFallon Police Department, call the Non-Emergency Line at 636-240-3200.
- Get a copy of the police report so you can submit duplicates to your bank and the credit-reporting bureaus.
Step 2: Also report the problem on the Missouri Attorney Generals Office website
The Attorney Generals Office has set up a hotline to help you recognize and report identity theft. Complaint investigators also will provide advice on what to do next.
Step 3: Alert your bank and credit card issuers
- Request an account number change for your legitimate credit card.
- Dont close legitimate accounts or you risk sending the wrong message and damaging your credit score. Instead, request new account numbers, PINs, ATM cards, and change all your passwords, and get a new checking account number if your checkbook is missing
Step 4: Contact each of the three credit bureaus
Reports You Cannot Submit Online
- House and business break and enters
- Domestic disputes
- Theft of a vehicle
- Any type of fraud resulting in the loss of funds/personal information or property, including fraudulent use of debit or credit cards
- Incidents that involve lost / stolen citizenship cards, permanent resident cards, immigration documents, government cheques, or cash from the government
- Incidents involving firearms
- Stolen property for sale online such as on Kijiji, Craigslist, Facebook, etc.
These crimes may require a dispatched call. Please phone the Police non-emergency line 266-1234.
FOR EMERGENCIES OR CRIMES IN PROGRESS CALL 9-1-1.
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Request Information On Fraudulent Accounts
When you file your police report of identity theft, the officer may give you forms to use to request account information from credit grantors, utilities or cell phone service companies. If the officer does not do this, you can use the form in our Consumer Information Sheet 3A: Requesting Information on Fraudulent Accounts. When you write to creditors where the thief opened or applied for accounts, send copies of the forms, along with copies of the police report. Give the information you receive from creditors to the officer investigating your case.
Contact The Social Security Administration
The thief may have used your Social Security number to apply for government benefits or take out credit in your name. Notify the Social Security Administration as soon as possible, even if youre not sure whether your number has been compromised. You can call their Fraud Hotline at 800-269-0271.
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How To File A Police Report For Identity Theft
Alt Text: A policeman in full uniform turns his head
When someone steals your identity, they can destroy your credit, take money from your bank, make unnecessary purchases, and register for unknown accounts. With the potential to create both long and short-term financial damage, its essential to report suspected identity theft to the police before it escalates.
According to the Federal Trade Commission , there are some cases where you dont have to report the identity theft to the authorities. At Identity Insured, we understand that identity theft can be stressful. Fortunately, we can provide you with the right guidance to get you on the right track.
What Is Identity Theft
Identity Theft occurs when someone uses your personally identifying information like your name, Social Security number, or credit card number without your permission to commit fraud or other crimes. According to the Federal Trade Commission, approximately 9 million Americans have their identity stolen each year. Identity thieves may use your personally identifying information to establish lines of credit, bank accounts, credit card accounts and other forms of credit. You may not find out your identity has been compromised until you receive a bill in the mail or are contacted by a debt collector.
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Sample Letter To Creditor On Existing Account
City, State, Zip Code
Dear Sir or Madam:
I am writing to dispute a fraudulent attributed to my account in the amount of $_____. I am a victim of identity theft, and I did not make this . I am requesting that the , that any finance and other charges related to the fraudulent amount be credited as well, and that I receive an accurate statement.
Enclosed are copies of supporting my position. Please investigate this matter and correct the fraudulent as soon as possible.