Identity theft is a serious issue that can turn your life into a nightmare. Your personal information is stolen and frauds are committed using this information. Your credit cards are used to make purchases and even loans are taken in your name. But issuing a fraud alert and providing an identity theft report will go a long way in resolving this issue.
It is information to the credit bureaus and all the businesses and financial institutions with whom you have financial dealings that you could be or have been a victim of Identity theft. Fraud Alerts are of two types. The first is the initial fraud alert which last for 90 days. The second alert lasts for seven years when you are convinced that you are a victim of identity theft. When you place a fraud alert on your credit report, your identity will be verified everytime you make a financial transaction.
Your personal information like your name, address, social security number, Identity Theft Report and other details that may be requested by the credit bureaus have to be provided to the credit bureaus when you want to place or remove a Fraud Alert. You will also be required to produce identification whenever you wish to avail credit.
When you are sure that you are a victim of identity theft, you must first lodge a complaint with the FTC, the local law enforcement agencies, Local Police and the other departments as mentioned in the FTC website. To lodge a complaint with the FTC, you have to download a complaint form from their website and fill it up. Next, take a printout of this form and lodge a complaint with the local police. The police then give a detailed report of the identity theft.
In the second step,you have to send a copy of the Identity theft report to the credit reporting bureaus so that a fraud alert placed on your credit report. When you file your identity theft report, the CRA and the financial isntitutions, where your personal information was used to commit the fraud, block the erroneous information so that they do not appear on your credit report.
Despite taking all these measures, it is essential that you will have to close accounts that may have been violated. Also, ensure that you respond to any queries that the Credit bureaus have regarding the identity theft within the stipulated time, failing which your report is likely to be rejected.
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