Identity Fraud

What to Do if it Happens to You?

(PDF) Version

Purpose

Identity theft and identity fraud are two of the fastest growing crimes in the United States. These crimes occur when someone uses a person’s identifying information, such as a driver license, birth date, and/or social security card number, without authority, to commit fraud. This brochure provides identity theft victims with important information and resources.

NOTE: The information in this brochure should not be construed as legal advice or as policy of the state of California.

What if Identity Theft and Fraud Happens to You?

  • File a police report with your local police. Keep a copy of the police report.
  • Keep a log of all conversations related to your identity fraud case such as:
  • — Dates.
    — Names of people you talked to.
    — Telephone numbers of the agencies you called.
    — The time you spent on each conversation.
    — Expenses incurred.
  • Follow-up on important conversations in writing.
  • Send correspondence by certified mail, return receipt requested.
  • Keep copies of all letters and documents.
  • Contact all creditors and banking institutions.

Credit Bureaus

Immediately call the fraud units of each of the three major credit bureaus — Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion — to report the theft or loss of your credit card(s).

Equifax:

Equifax Information Services LLC
PO Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374-0241

  • Report fraud: Call 1-800-525-6285 and write to the above address.
  • Order credit reports: 1-800-685-1111

Experian:

PO Box 9532
Allen, TX 75013-0949

  • Report fraud: Call 1-888-397-3742 and visit the above address.
  • Order credit reports: 1-888-397-3742

Trans Union:

PO Box 1000
Chester, PA 19022

  • Report fraud: Call 1-800-680-7289 and write to:
    • Fraud Victim Assistance Division
    • PO Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92634
  • Order credit reports: 1-800-916-8800

Fraud Alerts

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you can ask the credit bureaus:

  • To have your account flagged with a “fraud alert” and place a victim’s statement in your file requiring creditors to call you before opening any new accounts or making any changes to your existing account.
  • For the names and telephone numbers of creditors if any fraudulent account(s) have been opened.
  • To remove fraudulent entries from your credit report.
  • To notify those entities that received your credit report in the last six months to alert them to any disputed or erroneous information.

IMPORTANT: By law, victims of identity fraud are entitled to a free credit report once a year.

How to Stop Further Identity Theft and Fraud

Banks/Financial Institutions

If your checks are stolen or bank accounts are set up fraudulently in your name, report the fraudulent activity to the check verification companies (see the end of this brochure for names and telephone numbers). Put stop payments on any outstanding checks that you may not have written. Cancel your checking and savings accounts and open new accounts. If possible, give the bank a password for your account, other than your mother’s maiden name.

ATM Cards

If your ATM card has been stolen or compromised, request a new card, account number, and password. Do not use your old password. When you create a new password, do not use numbers that are readily available, such as the last four digits of your social security number or your birth date.

Fraudulent Change of Address

Notify your local postal inspector if you suspect that someone has changed your address with the post office or has used the mail to commit credit or bank fraud. Contact your local postmaster to have your mail sent to the correct address. Talk with your mail carrier to alert him/her of the problem

Social Security Number Misuse

Call the Social Security Administration (SSA) at 1-800-269-0271 to report the fraudulent use of your social security number.

Passports

If your passport is lost or stolen, notify the U.S. Department of State by completing a Statement Regarding a Lost or Stolen Passport (DS-64). This form is available at your local post office or may be obtained at www.state.gov

Telephone Service/Company

Immediately notify your telephone company if your calling card has been stolen or you discover fraudulent charges on your bill.

California Driver License or Identification (DL/ID) Card

If your DL/ID card is stolen or misused contact DMV at 1-866-658-5758 or by e-mail at dlfraud@dmv.ca.gov, or by mail at DL Fraud Unit MS L217, PO Box 932391, Sacramento CA 94232-3910 to inquire about the steps to take to protect your identity. Do not include any personal identifying information on your e-mail.

IMPORTANT: An e-mail or fax transmission of confidential information such as your social security number or credit card information is not secure.

Report DL/ID Card Number Misuse

If you discover that you have become a victim of DL or ID card fraud, immediately contact your local DMV to report the misuse. For an appointment call 1-800-777-0133 or e-mail your inquiry to dlfraud@dmv.ca.gov.  Do not include personal identifying information on your e-mail..

At the time of your appointment you will need to:

  • Submit proof of your identity. Your California DL or ID is sufficient. If you do not have your California DL/ID, you may obtain a list of additional acceptable documents by calling 1-800-777-0133 or going online at http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/brochures/fast_facts/ffdl05.htmto find the Birth Date/Legal Presence and True Full Name (FFDL 5) Fast Facts brochure..
  • Complete a statement describing the facts of the fraud.
  • Submit a copy of the police report or a written explanation of why a report was not filed.
  • Submit copies of canceled checks, bills, or letters from companies or banks to substantiate the fraud

Legal Issues and Remedies

False Civil and Criminal Judgments

Sometimes, victims of identity theft and fraud are wrongfully accused of crimes committed by another person(s). If a civil judgment has been entered in your name for actions taken by others, contact the court where the judgment was entered and report that you are a victim of identity theft or fraud. If you are wrongfully prosecuted for criminal charges, contact the California Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigations. Ask for information on how to clear your name.

Legal Help

You may want to consult an attorney concerning any legal action that may be necessary for your case.

To Remove Your Telephone Number From Telemarketing Lists:

Register with the Federal Trade Commission’s National DO Not Call Registry at www.donotcall.gov or call 1-888-382-1222.

To Remove Your Name From Prescreened Credit Offers

If you would like to reduce the number of prescreened credit and insurance offers you are receiving, visit www.optoutprescreen.com or call 1-888-5OptOut (1-888-567-8688).

To Remove Your Name from Mailing Lists

You can remove your name from individual organization lists. Visit Direct Marketing Association’s website at www.dmachoice.org and register online or download the form and mail it to:

Mail Preference Association
Direct Marketing Association
PO Box 643
Carmel, NY 10512

To Report Fraudulent Use of Your Checks —

Call:

  • Your banking institution
  • Certegy, Inc. 1-800-437-5120
  • Chexsystems 1-800-428-9623
  • SCAN 1-800-262-7771
  • Telecheck 1-800-710-9898

Other Useful Resources

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provides resources on its website to educate consumers about the crime of identity theft. The FTC website provides detailed information, publications, and tools to help you learn how to avoid identity theft and learn what to do if your identity is stolen. To request publications contact FTC at 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338) or Visit www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/

Websites

You may obtain additional information about identity theft and fraud at the following websites.

Department of Justice:
www.usdoj.gov

Federal Trade Commission:
www.ftc.gov

Identity Theft Resource Center:
www.idtheftcenter.org

Federal Communications Commission:
www.fcc.gov

Internal Revenue Service:
http://www.irs.gov/uac/Taxpayer-Guide-to-Identity-Theft

Social Security Administration:
www.ssa.gov

U.S. Postal Inspection Service:
www.usps.gov

InternetCrime Complaint Center:
www.ic3.gov

NOTE: The addresses, telephone numbers, and websites provided in this brochure are correct as of the printing date. They are subject to change without notice.

FFDL 25 (REV. 8/2013)