Combating Identity Theft
Identity theft occurs when someone obtains key pieces of your personal information and impersonates you. The culprit is able commit numerous forms of fraud against you including taking over your financial accounts, opening new bank accounts, purchasing merchandise, and applying for loans and credit cards.
The following tips are provided should you discover you are a victim of identity theft.
Keep detailed notes
- Note the date and time you first discovered the theft of your identity.
- Continue adding information to this log and retain if for future reference even after your credit is restored.
Report the crime to the police
- Call the Honolulu Police Department by calling 9-1-1, non-emergency line. An officer will be dispatched to your location to initiate a police report.
- Ask the officer for the police report number and record that in your notes.
- Obtain a verification letter from the Honolulu Police Department Records and Identification Division. For more information regarding how to obtain a verification letter, click here.
- Make copies of the verification letter and make them available to your creditors when you dispute fraudulent charges.
Federal Trade Commission
Web site: Identity Theft
Web site: General Customer Education
Notify credit bureaus
Contact the three major credit bureaus. They will alert you to any other attempts.
P.O. Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30374
Web site: www.equifax.com
PO Box 2002
Allen, TX 75013
Web site: www.experian.com
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19022
Web site: www.transunion.com
Notify your financial institution
- If your credit cards and/or checks were stolen, immediately contact your financial institution.
- Cancel all your credit cards and bank accounts.
- Ask your financial institution to notify you of any attempts to use your closed accounts.
- Ask that the information be sent to you, and then provide the information to the police.
- Make certain you understand your financial institutions procedure to contest fraudulent charges.
- Keep all written communication with your notes.
- Make certain to record the names and telephone numbers of the personnel helping you in the event you have to call them back.
Notify other institutions
- Contact credit card companies, issuing banks, department stores, and utility companies where you believe your identity may be fraudulently used.
- Monitor your monthly financial statements and credit reports.
- Identify all locations where your identity was fraudulently used.
- Contest fraudulent charges.
- Obtain all the information you can regarding the fraudulent charges and provide that information to the police.
Restoring your credit
Clearing up your credit is in your hands. Merely reporting the matter to the police is not sufficient. You are the only person who can clear your credit history. Take control by taking prompt action. Persistence pays off.