Are you a victim of identity theft?

    If someone is using your identifying information (name, date of birth, social security number, etc.) to obtain goods, services, credit, and/or open fraudulent bank accounts - you are a victim of identity theft!

What to do if this happens to you:

First:  Contact the fraud departments of each of the three major credit bureaus:

    Equifax - www.equifax.com.  To order your report, call 800-685-1111; to report fraud, call 800-525-6285, or write:  P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA  30374-0241.

    Experian - www.experian.com.  To order your report, call 888-397-3742; to report fraud, call 888-397-3742 or write P.O. Box 9532, Allen, TX  75013.

    TransUnion - www.transunion.com.  To order your report, call 800-888-4213; to report fraud, call 800-680-7289 or email fvad@transunion.com.  This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or write Fraud Victim Assistance Dept., P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA  92634-6790.

Second:  Close the accounts you know or believe have been tampered with or opened fraudulently.  Credit accounts include all accounts with banks, credit card companies and other lenders, phone companies, utilities, ISPs and other service providers.

Third:  File a police report with your local police department or the police in the community where the identity theft took place.

Fourth:  File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission by contacting the FTC’s Identity Hotline at 1-877-438-4338 or on line at:  www.consumer.gov/idtheft.

    Victims themselves have the ability to assist greatly with resolving their case.  It is important to act quickly and assertively to minimize the damage.