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