Identity Theft - What do I do?

Effective July 1, 1998 it is a felony in Georgia to use someone else's identity to obtain something of value O.C.G.A. 16-9-120 through 16-9-127.

  • The first thing you should do is contact your local police department or sherriff's department to report the theft of your identity.
     
    • Explain to them how your identity was stolen.
    • Provide them with copies of statements or other documents that you have that support your contention.
       
  • Contact the Federal Trade Commission and the Georgia Office of Consumer Affairs (OCA) report the theft of your identity.
     
  • Contact the major credit reporting agencies
     
    • Equifax, P.O. Box 740250, Atlanta, Georgia 30374-0250, (800) 525-6285
    • Experian, P.O. Box 1017, Allen, Texas 75013, (888) 397-3742
    • Trans Union, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, California 92634, (800) 680-7289
      • After making telephone contact with the credit reporting agencies follow up with a letter.
        • In letter form explain to each credit reporting agency that someone has stolen your identity to obtain credit or for whatever reason, i.e. driver's license etc.
        • Give factual information including copies of statements, other documents and police reports that support your contention.
        • Include in the letter that credit should not be granted unless you or your spouse is contacted for verification.
      • Request a copy of your credit history

 

  • Contact the company(ies) that has provided credit or other intangible or tangible property to the person who stole your identity.
     
    • In letter form explain you either did not make the charges that are on your statement or that you never requested credit, or you never applied for the item(s) that were issued using your identity.
    • Give factual information including copies of statements or other documents that support your contention.
    • Include a copy of your police report.

Credit Card / Identity Fraud Resources

Credit Reporting Bureaus

Equifax:
P.O. Box 740250, Atlanta, GA 30374-0250
Report Fraud: Call (800) 525-6285 and write to address above
Order Credit Report: (800) 685-1111
Website: www.equifax.com

Experian (formerly TRW):
P.O. Box 1017, Allen, TX 75013
Report Fraud: Call (888) 397-3742 and write to address above
Order Credit Report: (888) 397-3742
Website: www.experian.com

Trans Union:
P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92634
Report Fraud: (800) 680-7289 and write to address above
Order Credit Report: (800) 888-4213
Website: www.tuc.com

U.S. Federal Trade Commission

The FTS oversees the operation or credit bureaus. You can find a copy of the Credit Reporting Act on its website. The FTC also provides assistance for identity theft victims. Its website provides a complaint form that can be transmitted to the FTC via the Internet.

Consumer Response Center:
(202) 382-4357
Email: crc@ftc.gov
Website: www.ftc.gov

U.S. Social Security Administration
Report Fraud: (800) 269-0271
Website: www.ssa.gov

Direct Marketing Association
(To remove your name from mail & phone lists)
Mail Preference Service, P.O. Box 9008, Farmingdale, NY 11735
Telephone Preference Service, P.O. Box 9014, Farmingdale, NY 11735
Website: www.the-dma.org

Fraudulent Use of Your Checks

CheckRite

(800) 766-2748

Chexsystems

(800 428-9623

CrossCheck

(707) 586-0551

Equifax

(800) 437-5120

National Processing Co.

(800) 526-5380

SCAN

(800) 262-7771

TeleCheck

(800) 710-9898

You are entitled to a free credit report if you are a victim of identity/credit card fraud, if you have been denied credit, if you receive welfare benefits or if you are unemployed.

Department of Motor Vehicles

Contact the state office of the Department of Motor Vwehicles to see if another license was issued in your name. If so, request a new license number and fill out the DMV's complaint form to begin the fraud investigation process. Home

Tips for Avoiding Identity Theft

  • Guard your financial information.   Only disclose your credit card or bank account number when you’re paying for something with it.
  • Keep your Social Security number confidential.   Don’t give it to anyone unless you’re sure who it is and why they need it.   Ask your health insurer, the Department of Motor Vehicle Safety and others who may use this as your ID number to give you a substitute number.
  • Beware of imposters.  Be especially suspicious if you get a call or e-mail from someone claiming to be from a company you do business with, asking for information they should already have on file.   (In its most common form, this ruse is known as “phishing.”)  Contact the company directly to confirm the validity of the message.
  • Keep your mail safe.   Collect it promptly from your mailbox and ask the Post Office to hold it while you’re away.  Send bill payments from the Post Office or a public mailbox.
  • Get off credit marketing lists.   Mailings for pre-approved offers of credit are a gold mine for identity thieves, who steal them and apply for credit.  Get off these lists by calling 888-567-8688 (your Social Security number will be required).
  • Lock it up.   Keep your personal information locked up at home, at work, at school and elsewhere so that no one else will have easy access to it.  Don’t leave PIN numbers or passwords in your wallet or on your desk; memorize them.
  • Stay safe online.   Don’t send sensitive information such as credit card numbers by e-mail, since it’s not secure.  When you’re asked to provide financial or other sensitive information on web sites, the letters at the beginning of the address bar should change from “http” to “https” or “shttp,” indicating that your information is being encrypted, or scrambled, to transmit it safely.
  • Check your credit reports regularly.    If you find accounts that don't belong to you or other incorrect information, follow the instructions for disputing those items.  The Georgia Fair Business Practices Act [O.C.G.A. Section 10-1-393(b)(28)(C)] gives you the right to receive two free credit reports a year from the national credit-reporting agencies.  More information about getting free credit reports is available from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at www.ftc.gov/credit or by calling 877-382-4357.