Help! This is An Identity Theft 911 Emergency

By: Joseph Farinaccio
An identity theft 911 situation is when you first discover you’re a victim of identity theft.

Perhaps you’ve just received a bill from a creditor you’ve never heard of before.? Perhaps you’ve just received a call from a bill collector who is demanding you pay for a widget you never bought.

Panic time.

Somebody is using your name, reference numbers (i.e., social security number, etc.) or other personal information to set up fraudulent accounts that you’re getting billed for.? You’re also wondering if maybe they’re tapping into accounts you’ve legitimately opened.

You’ve got good reasons to be upset.

Trying to clean up the fraud after you’ve experienced a Identity Theft 911 moment doesn’t cost just money.? It costs time … and lots of it.? Some Id Theft experts estimate it will take at least 200 hours to fix or repair your records? (And this is IF you uncover ID fraud as soon as it happens AND begin contacting credit reporting agencies, creditors and agencies quickly.

What are a few of most important things to do when first contacting the credit reporting agencies?? Here are a few of the details often overlooked by fraud victims:

-- Request that a “fraud alert" be attached to your file for 7 years.

-- Request that your name and contact information be removed from “promotional lists" at this time to avoid the identity thief from possibly using them to open credit accounts with new merchants.

-- Request that all businesses or organizations that have made inquiries about or received your credit file within the past year be notified of identity theft crime committed against you.

-- Request that the Credit Reporting Agency not release your credit report to anyone else at this time without your expressed permission.

-- Inform the Credit Reporting Agencies of your intention of sending a 100-word “victim statement" that can be added to your credit report.? (Ask if there is a required form or procedure for doing this).

-- Request an immediate response from the Credit Reporting Agencies to your present contact, along with the assurance that they’ll be providing everything you’ve requested.? (Provide your name and phone number where you can be reached so they can contact you for this purpose).

-- Ask for the names, addresses and phone numbers of creditors, including credit card companies, where the identity thief opened fraudulent accounts.? Also request the same information for any organization that has asked to see your credit file without your knowledge.

-- Ask Credit Reporting Agencies to remove all fraudulent credit inquiries made by the identity thief.? These inquiries can negatively affect your credit rating.

These things, among others, are a few of the most importing things you can do if you find yourself in an identity theft 911 situation.


Identity Theft
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