When Do I Need To Report Identity Theft To The Police
There are many different forms of fraud and identity theft, and some warrant a police report more than others. Local law enforcement may be somewhat limited when investigating an internet crime or large data breach, and a police report may not be required for certain types of identity-related crimes. You should file a police report in the following situations:
- You know who committed the identity theft.
- You can provide specific information that may be able to help the police investigation.
- Your identity was used fraudulently in an encounter with the police.
- A creditor or other entity requires a police report as part of their investigation.
While not always required, filing a police report can potentially help the authorities catch and stop the person or group committing the crimes. Additionally, some creditors or companies may require you to obtain a police report in order to help you fix the damage.
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
Report Identity Theft To Other Organizations
You can also report the theft to other organizations, such as:
Credit Reporting Agencies – Contact one of the three major credit reporting agencies to place fraud alerts or freezes on your accounts. Also get copies of your credit reports, to be sure that no one has already tried to get unauthorized credit accounts with your personal information. Confirm that the credit reporting agency will alert the other two credit reporting agencies.
National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center – Report cases of identity theft due to a stay in a nursing home or long-term care facility.
Financial Institutions – Contact the fraud department at your bank, credit card issuers and any other places where you have accounts.
Retailers and Other Companies – Report the crime to companies where the identity thief opened credit accounts or even applied for jobs.
State Attorney General Offices – Your state’s attorney general might offer tips, checklists, or an advocate to help you recover from identity theft. These resources don’t replace filing an ID theft report with the FTC.
You may need to get new personal records or identification cards if you’re the victim of ID theft. Learn how to replace your vital identification documents after identity theft.
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Use Instant Checkmate’s Dark Web Monitoring Service
If a criminal has stolen your identity, there’s a possibility they might try and sell it on the Dark Web. For a small additional fee, you can use your Instant Checkmate membership to scan the Dark Web in search of your data. This is one of the fastest ways to see if your personal information has ended up in the wrong hands.
To see if your personal information could have been stolen, enter your name in the box below and hit ‘SEARCH.’
Ed Smith is a writer, coffee addict, and jack of all trades. He’s based in San Diego, California.
If Someone Uses Your Social Security Number To Claim Unemployment Benefits Or To Work
If you suspect that someone else has claimed unemployment benefits using your Social Security number, call the California Employment Development Departments toll-free Fraud Hotline at 1-800-229-6297. For more information, see their Web site at www.edd.ca.gov. Search on the site for “fraud.” Sometimes, an identity thief will use someone elses Social Security number to be eligible to work. Its a good idea to check your Social Security earnings record to see if income earned by a thief is being posted to your account. You can get a copy of your earnings record by calling 1-800-772-1213. Or get a Request for Social Security Statement at www.ssa.gov/online/ssa-7004.html. If you believe a thief is using your Social Security number to work or claim Social Security benefits, call the Social Security Fraud Hotline at 1-800-269-0271. Or report Social Security benefits fraud online at www.ssa.gov/oig/hotline/index.htm..
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How Can I Obtain A Copy Of My Police Report
Whether they ask you to submit your request in person, via mail, or online, all police departments will provide you with a copy of your police report. Determine which law enforcement agency to request the report from. In general, you request a police report from the law enforcement agency for the city where the incident took place.
Replacing Lost Or Stolen Identification
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Provide An Account Of The Incident
Clearly communicate that your identity has been stolen and you need to file a police report.
If you encounter any reluctance on behalf of the local police department, try to file a Miscellaneous Incident report or contact your state Attorney Generals office.
Be firm, calm, and specific when you’re communicating the details of the identity theft. Make sure you hand in a copy of the FTC Identity Theft Report for the police officer to attach to the file.
How Long After An Accident Can You File A Police Report In Texas
Texas Transportation Code §550.062 requires any law enforcement officer who in the regular course of duty investigates a motor vehicle crash that results in injury to or the death of a person or damage to the property of any one person to the apparent extent of $1,000 or more, to submit a written report of that crash
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Do You Report Identity Theft Local Police
You should file a report if you know the person who committed fraud, or if your identity was used in a police encounter like an arrest or traffic citation. Also, creditors, financial institutions, and debt collectors might require you to file a police report and/or Federal Trade Commission identity theft report.
Reporting Identity Theft To Local Police
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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.
Report To The Appropriate Police Stations
You need to file a police report with both your local police station and the jurisdiction in which the fraud took place.
In some cases, you may also consider filing a report with the state police as many states have passed new laws to crack down on identity theft.
Bring the following documentation with you:
- A copy of the FTC Identity Theft Report
- A government-issued photo ID
- Proof of address, such as bank statement, utility bill, or income tax statement
Any proof you have of the fraud, such as credit card statements with fraudulent charges, IRS notices, credit reports showing unauthorized accounts, or collection notices
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When To Report Identity Theft To Police
The FTC says its important to report identity theft to the police in these three cases:
In most other cases, you can report identity theft to IdentityTheft.gov. The FTC set up the website as a one-stop shop for reporting many types of identity theft. It also helps you to set up a recovery plan.
Request Additional Free Credit Reports
California identity theft victims with a police report of identity theft are entitled to receive up to 12 free credit reports, one per month for the 12 months following the date of the police report. The procedure for requesting free monthly reports is different for each of the credit bureaus.
Experian: Make a single request to receive all of your free monthly reports. Mail your request for 12 free monthly reports to Experian at P.O. Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013. Enclose a copy of the police report of identity theft, a copy of a government-issued identification card , and a copy of proof of current mailing address . Also provide your full name including middle initial , previous addresses for the past two years, Social Security number and date of birth.
TransUnion LLC: Write or call in your request each month. Mail to TransUnion LLC, P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19016. Or call the toll-free number printed on your most recent TransUnion LLC credit report. Provide your full name including middle initial , Social Security number, date of birth, and proof of residence .
Equifax: Write or call in your request each month. Mail to Equifax Fraud Department, P.O. Box 740250, Atlanta, GA 30374. Or call the toll-free number printed on your most recent Equifax credit report.
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Why Do I Need A Police Report
Many people wonder if they actually need to get a police report when identity theft has occurred. The answer is YES, you really do need the report! Getting a police report plays several important roles in combatting the identity theft. First, it documents the theft and provides crucial evidence for disputing incorrect information on your credit report, or for completing a fraud affidavit. It also shows the creditor/debt collector that you are not making a bogus or fake dispute about a valid debt because victims of identity theft never shy away from notifying the police about these issues.
Protect Yourself Against Identity Fraud
- Dont throw out anything with your name, address or financial details without shredding it first.
- If you receive an unsolicited email or phone call from what appears to be your bank or building society asking for your security details, never reveal your full password, login details or account numbers. Be aware that a bank will never ask for your PIN or for a whole security number or password.
- If you are concerned about the source of a call, wait five minutes and call your bank from a different telephone making sure there is a dialling tone.
- If you move house, ask Royal Mail to redirect your post for at least a year.
- These credit reference agencies offer a credit report checking service to alert you to any key changes on your credit file that could indicate potential fraudulent activity: TransUnion Equifax Experian ClearScore Noddle
- It is particularly helpful to check your personal credit file 2-3 months after you have moved house.
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How To Report Identity Theft
If you realize you have been a victim of identity theft, its critical to act quickly and limit the possible damage. When experiencing identity theft for the first time, many people dont know how to handle the situation. One of the first things you should do is report identity theftto the Federal Trade Commission.
Communicate With Creditors And Debt Collectors
You can stop creditors and debt collectors from reporting fraudulent accounts under your name by sending them a copy of your FTC report. Also, in most cases, you can get debt collectors to stop contacting you by sending them a copy of your FTC report and a letter explaining you are a victim of identity theft. According to the Federal Trade Commissions website, its your right as a U.S. citizen.
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Cancel Credit Or Debit Card
A criminal doesnt need your physical credit or debit card to steal from you. They can use your card number, PIN, and security code to make transactions. If your credit or debit card has been stolen, get in touch with your bank immediately and block the account. Some banks allow you to do this quickly via their app.
If you arent entirely sure, but yoususpect that someone might have your personal, bank account, or credit card information, you should still contact your bank and block the card to be on the safe side. You can take additional measures to protect yourself, such as adding a fraud alert to your credit report through a credit bureau.
How To Protect Yourself From Identity Theft
- Do not give your credit card or bank account numbers to any one over the phone unless you made the call and know the business.
- Do not give your Social Security number to any one and don’t have it printed on your checks.
- Shred all your papers with personal information that is no longer needed, including charge receipts, bank statements, expired credit cards, credit offers prior to disposal, etc.
- Reduce the number of cards you carry and don’t carry your Social Security card or number, birth certificate, or passport with you except when necessary.
- Check credit card statements and report unauthorized purchases immediately.
- Be aware of people who are nearby when you use an ATM machine.
- When ordering new checks, do not have them sent to your home. Pick them up at the bank.
- Use a Gel Pen to write checks. Gel pens are difficult to wash and therefore cannot be reused if your checkbook is stolen.
- If you are a victim, call the three major credit-reporting agencies and have a Fraud Alert placed in your file. Request a report from each source at least once a year to verify accuracy:
- Equifax 1-800-525-6285
- Experian 1-888-397-3742 or regionally at 602-528-7785
- Trans Union 1-800-680-7289
- The Social Security Administration Fraud Hotline and Federal Trade Commission Hotline are also recommended contacts.
APD Crime Prevention 768-2006
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