IDENTITY THEFT TIPS
Information courtesy of "It's MI Identity"
Michigan Attorney General's Office
FACTS ABOUT IDENTITY THEFT
Every year, nearly 7 Million people across the nation become victims of identity theft.
Identity theft in Michigan is greater than the National average for credit card, telephone, cell phone and utility frauds.
Most victims of identity theft in Michigan are more than 40 years old.
Identity theft victims can be living or deceased.
Many identity theft victims fail to notify the proper authorities and fail to file formal complaints.
The average identity theft victim spends 175 hours of time and $1400.00 to restore their credit.
Never give out your Social Security number, Driver's license, or other identifying information unless you know the person or organization or you initiated the contact.
Treat checkbooks, ATM cards, Credit card offers as if they're cash-PROTECT THEM.
Before discarding you should shred personal information such as receipts, insurance forms, bank and credit card statements and other offers.
Notify financial institutions and credit card companies before relocating to a new home or care facility.
Have your mail held when going on vacation or into the hospital.
Cancel unneeded Credit cards.
Say NO to credit card offers by calling 1-888-5-OPT-OUT (567-8688)
Keep a list of customer service telephone numbers for current accounts in case you need to report a credit card stolen or any other kind of identity theft.
Review financial and credit card statements each month for unauthorized activity.
Obtain and review a copy of your credit report each year. A list of credit reporting agencies will follow below.
Obtain and read the Federal Trade Commission Booklet on identity theft at www.consumer.gov/idtheft.
Know the law, Identity theft is a felony in Michigan. For more information about this law, please visit www.mileg.org.
WHAT DO I DO IF IT HAPPENS TO ME?
If you're a victim of identity theft, don't panic. Do the following:
Immediately contact the three credit reporting agencies listed at the end of this page. Ask for a "fraud alert" which will help prevent new credit accounts from being opened without your consent.
File a report with the local police agency.
Contact the Postal Inspection Office www.usps.com/websites/depart/inspect. Because most identity theft crimes involve the use of the mail, the U.S. Postal Service is also a lead agency in investigating these crimes.
Contact the Social Security Administration Fraud Hotline (1-800-269-0271). Alert them that your number has been stolen.
Contact your banks and credit card companies. Review your statements!
Notify the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-438-4338.
If you live in a resident care facility, contact the Michigan Attorney General's Healthcare Fraud Division and fill out the ID theft Affidavit. Call: Healthcare Fraud Division 1-800-24-ABUSE (242-2873).
THREE MAJOR CREDIT REPORTING AGENCIES
To order a report-call: (888) 397-3742
To report a fraud-call: (888) EXPERIAN
TDD: (800) 972-0322, and write: P.O. Box9532, Allen Tx 75013
To order a report-call: (800) 685-1111
To order fraud-call: (800) 525-6285
TDD: (800) 225-0056, and write: P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
To order a report-call: (800) 888-4213
To report a fraud-call: (800) 680-7289
TDD: (877) 553-7803, and/or:
Fax: (714) 447-6034,
Fraud Victim Assistance Department
P.O. BOX 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834-6790
For more good information on Identity theft scams check out www.idtheftcenter.org