If you’ve been the victim of identity theft, you can take steps to reclaim your good name and restore your credit. To make certain that you do not become responsible for any debts incurred in your name by an identity thief, you must prove that you didn’t create the debt.
Taking action quickly is important, so don’t delay. Create a personalized recovery plan at IdentityTheft.gov
that walks you through each step of the process. You can use the site to print pre-filled letters & forms to send to credit bureaus, businesses, and debt collectors, track your progress of recovering from ID theft, and update your plan.
As you begin the task of reclaiming your good name, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Maintain good notes on all of your dealings with creditors and law enforcement.
Write down dates, contact names, addresses, phone numbers, and other details. Request written confirmation of actions that have been taken regarding to your case.
Track how much time and money you spend
to clear up the problem, in case you’re able to get restitution from the thief.
Keep your originals.
When you send documents, send photocopies rather than the original. Send items by certified mail, return receipt requested.
Try to file your police report where the crime occurred
. The case is more likely to be investigated where the crime took place. If necessary, file it where you live or where the suspected thief lives. Filing a police report triggers helpful protections under both federal and state law, such as an extended fraud alert and a free security freeze
, which stops access to new credit in your name.
, you will be putting together information to create an ID Theft Affidavit. Together, your ID Theft Affidavit and your police report create an “Identity Theft Report” that you will use as you contact creditors to try to restore your credit.
Some additional steps, if needed:
Examine your medical records
if you suspect that someone has used your name to see a doctor, get medication or file a health insurance claim. Patients who discover that they have been victims of Medical ID Theft
must work to get corrected information
in their files.
Contact local law enforcement and prosecutors
if you suspect that someone has used your name to avoid criminal punishment. In each county where charges were brought, inform authorities that you may be a victim of Criminal ID Theft
Notify NC DMV
if you suspect that someone else has a state-issued North Carolina driver’s license in your name. Call them at (919) 715-7000.
Contact federal and state authorities
if someone is using your Social Security Number for employment purposes. Alert the Social Security Administration
at 1-800-269-0271, and the NC Employment Security Commission at (919) 733-5034.
Check for bad checks.
Call SCAN (1-800-262-7771) to see if there are outstanding bad checks in your name.