I’ve published this information before, but it’s worth a refresher:

ID Theft — What to do if you’re a victim

Contact Experian, Equifax and Trans-Union to place a fraud alert on your account. Initial alert lasts 90 days. If you have been the victim of a fraud, 2-years. Military personnel can get a special “active duty” fraud alert that lasts a year.

Ask the credit bureaus for the contact information for all creditors listed on your file, and to remove any fraudulent inquiries to your credit file. That’s important because too many inquiries can drag down your credit score. You can also ask the bureaus to resend your credit history to anyone who received it in the last 6 months, and up to 2 years for employers.

Write creditors to close accounts you know or believe have been tampered with or opened fraudulently. If you’ve had checks stolen, or your checking account has been compromised, be sure to contact check verification companies like Telecheck and Checkrite. Keep copies of all your letters to these companies.

* Checkrite: (800) 766-2748
* Chexsystems: (800) 428-9623
* Checkcenter/crosscheck: (800) 843-0760
* Certigy/Equifax: (800) 437-5120
* International Check Services: (800) 526-5380
* SCAN: (800) 262-7771
* Telecheck: (800) 710-9898

Report the identity theft to your local police or sheriff’s dept. Identity theft victims often forget to report the theft of your identity to your local police or sheriff’s department, but that’s an important record to have on file. You may also need to report it to the police departments where the crime has occurred.

The police report should list all of the fraudulent accounts that have been opened with your social security number. Get a copy of the report and your investigator’s phone number. Add it to your paper trail.

If your Social Security number has been used to commit identity theft, call the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213. You can order a copy of your earnings and benefits statement to check whether someone has used your Social Security number to get a job or to avoid paying taxes.

June 10, 2007.