Did you know that Identity theft is our nation's fastest growing crime? Although it is important to know how to prevent identity theft, it is as equally important for you to know what to do if you have become an identity theft victim.
1. If your credit cards are lost or stolen, notify one of the three credit reporting agencies and ask that a "fraud alert" be placed on your account. The agency that you notify will contact the other two EQUIFAX 1-800-525-6285, www.equifax.com
EXPERIAN 1-800-397-3742, www.experian.com
TRANSUNION 1-800-680-7289, www.tuc.com
2. If your identity is stolen, file a report with your local police department. Request copies of the police report. You will want to provide them to your financial institutions.
3. If your driver's license or non-driver photo ID is lost or stolen, report it missing to Penn Dot and complete a Misuse Form. For more information and to access the form, go to www.dmv.state.pa.us, and click on the Identity/Security Information Center.
4. If you are a victim of identity theft, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and complete an ID Theft Affidavit. www.consumer.gov/idtheft The FTC database (Consumer Sentinel) is used by law enforcement agencies worldwide for investigations. Filing your complaint may be instrumental in helping to solve your case.
5. If your passport is lost or stolen, file a report with the U.S. Department of State.
Finally, make sure that you keep a list of all credit cards, bank account, ATM, passport, driver's license, and essential phone numbers and Web addresses you will need if you become an Identity Theft victim. For more information on this topic, you can go to www.IdentityTheftActionPlan.com
TFC Shannon M. Yorke
Community Services Unit
Pennsylvania State Police
Troop N, Hazleton