Defending Against Identity Theft and Other Fraud
Where to report suspicious communications or other activity:
- Forward suspicious Phishing emails to firstname.lastname@example.org. Phishing is a form of Internet piracy that seeks to obtain your personal financial information, usually through an email that appears to have come from a reputable business.
- Report suspicious activity (fraudulent email or website) to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center, at www.ic3.gov.
- For fraudulent or unsolicited text messages or phone calls, file a complaint at www.fcc.gov/complaints or call the FCC’s Consumer Center at 888-CALL-FCC (888-225-5322) voice or 888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322) TTY. Complaints can be faxed to: 866-418-0232.
- Several mobile service providers will allow you to forward unwanted spam texts to 7726 (or “SPAM”) to enable the providers to prevent future unwanted texts from the specific sender.
What to do if you’re a victim of identity theft or other fraud:
- Place a “Fraud Alert” on your credit reports immediately when you see inaccuracies or invalid information pertaining to your financial activity. This will help to ensure due diligence is performed before any accounts are opened in your name.
- Contact the fraud department of each company in which an account was opened in your name.
- Follow up in writing with supporting documentation.
- Request written verification that each dispute has been dealt with and the fraudulent debts discharged.
- Keep copies of all correspondence and records of telephonic contact (names, dates and times, results of conversations).
- File a police report to assist in correcting your credit report and to document proof of the crime.
- Report the crime to the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov/idtheft or 877-438-4338.
- Call all credit card companies and your financial institutions to advise them of the situation.
- Contact the Social Security Department (800-269-0271) if you suspect your number was used without your knowledge.
- Contact your Department of Motor Vehicles to obtain a new driver’s license and ensure a duplicate has not been issued in your name.
- Contact the U.S. Postal Inspectors Office to report crimes involving stolen mail/use of mail in a fraudulent scheme.
- Contact your health insurer and advise of the identity theft – criminals may use your health care information to obtain benefits. This could lead to false information being added to the profile, placing the victim’s health at risk.