It is frustrating to imagine that someone else has been using your credit card or identity without you knowing they are doing it. In this article, we provide information on how to identify identity theft, how to prevent financial losses incurred as a result of having your identity stolen, and recovering from any damages that may have occurred. Here is your ultimate guide on who you can contact if you believe you’ve become a victim of identity theft.
Law Enforcement Agencies
If you think that someone is using your identity or if you suspect this person to be a cyber thief, it’s important to report the crime. You should contact law enforcement agencies and obtain a case number. If applicable, credit card companies will ask for proof of what happened in an effort to restore trust with their customers. Make sure they have all the information they need when contacting them to prevent further losses.
The National Criminal Justice Resource Service website provides information for states. The U.S. Department of Justice division that supplies the links for resources for combating and reporting identity theft is called NCJRS, which can be accessed here.
Information for The United States Department of Justice:
U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division/Fraud Section
- Address: 10th & Constitution Ave., NW, Bond Building, 4th Floor, Washington, DC 20530
- Phone Number: (202) 514-7023
- Fax Number: (202) 514-7021
Information for The United States Secret Service
- Website: http://www.treas.gov/usss/financial_crimes.shtml
- Address: 245 Murray Drive, Building 410, Washington, DC 20223
- Phone Number: (202) 406-5708
This division is responsible for detecting and prosecuting fraud. This includes bank fraud, credit card or debit card fraud, and computer crimes including identity theft, fraudulent identification, and fraudulent government or commercial securities. The website has useful information about how to report incidents of abuse or misconduct in the private sector under a complaint form.
Information for The Federal Trade Commission (FTC):
- Website: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/menus/consumer/data/idt.shtm
- Address: 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580
- Phone Number: 1-877-IDTHEFT (438-4338)
If you’re a victim of identity theft, you can submit information to the FTC’s website. You will find complaint forms, affidavit forms, and sample letters to send to reporting companies as well as more info on your rights.
Information on The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3):
The IC3 is an independent agency that was created to help victims of identity theft with the process of filing complaints. Once your complaint has been processed, they may refer you to federal, state, or international law enforcement or regulatory agencies for a possible investigation. We recommend that when you file a complaint with the IC3 (or any other crime-fighting entity), it is best practice not only to start by filing a police report but also to contact local authorities as well.
Credit Reporting Bureaus
- Phone Number: 1-800-525-6285
- Website: www.equifax.com
- Address: P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
- Phone Number: 1-800-680-7289
- Website: www.transunion.com
- Address: P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834-6790
- Phone Number: 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742)
- Website: www.experian.com
- Address: P.O. Box 9532, Allen, TX 75013