"What Is an "Identity Theft Report"?

You should file a complete Identity Theft Report when you discover that you have been the victim of identity theft. A full identity theft report consists of two documents. Both need to be filed as soon as possible. Keep copies of each. One form is the ID Theft Complaint form that can be obtained from the FTC (Federal Trade Commission). The FTC can be reached at 1-877-438-4338. The other document is the identity crime report you must file with law enforcement officials.

Print out a copy of the “ID Theft Complaint from the FTC” from the government website and complete the form. Take it with you when you go to the local police station to file a police report. The two documents, (a signed police report and the ID Theft Complaint form from the FTC), together, constitute a complete “ID Theft Report”. Note that your legal rights are hampered if you are without a full ID Theft Report.

The preceding information is key.

Now, consider making multiple copies of the signed police report and the ID Theft Complaint. Save the copies in a folder for future reference. You’ll need them. Remember to ‘pair them up’ with one another.

There are basic steps you can take when you have the ID Theft Report assembled which guarantee the rights that you have after discovering you have been the victim of identity theft. One step is to place what is known as a fraud alert with one of the three credit reporting agencies. Once the ID Theft report is filed with one of the agencies, that agency is required to notify the other two credit reporting agencies. You are entitled to order a free credit report from each agency. The telephone numbers are listed below for you:

TransUnion 1-800-680-728

Equifax 1-800-525-6285

Experian 1-888-397-3742

Examine the information that is contained in each of the three credit reports. Request that any fraudulent information you discover in the reports be blocked from continued reporting. You have that right to do so if you have supplied a completed ID Theft Report. Filing the ID Theft Report, also, should prevent reputable companies from continuing to attempt to collect from you for erroneous charges. You can also, later, place an extended fraud alert on your credit reports if necessary.

You should consider supplying all local, state and federal law enforcement agencies with copies of all of the records and documents related to your “Identity Theft Report”.

Some states require that local agencies accept identity theft reports and some are without such laws. Should your local law enforcement agency be unreceptive to accepting your report of the identity theft, the FCC recommends that you ask if you can file a “Miscellaneous Incident Report”. Escalate your request to file a complaint with the county and state law enforcement agencies if the local police are unable to help.

Remember, without the identity theft being reported as a crime committed against you, your “ID Theft Report” is likely to be considered incomplete and very little action will be taken.

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