ID Theft Victim Toolkit
If you’ve been the victim of identity theft, you can take steps to reclaim your good name. North Carolina and the federal government have many resources to help you.
How to Reclaim Your Good Name
Taking action quickly is key. So is keeping notes on all of your dealings with creditors and law enforcement about the theft. You also want to 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 copies of all letters and documents you send connected to the identity theft, and send items by certified mail, return receipt requested. Remember to send photocopies, not originals.
Finally, do not give in no matter how frustrated you are.
Steps To Take If You’re the Victim of Identity Theft
Step 1: Report it to Law Enforcement
Identity theft is a felony under North Carolina law. Report the crime to your local police department, and, if known, the police department in the location where your identity was used illegally. Get a copy of the police report. Also, keep the phone number of your fraud investigator handy.
Identity theft often happens in more than one place and more than one law enforcement jurisdiction. You may need to be persistent when you try to file a police report. Stress the importance of a getting police report. Many creditors will require it to resolve your problems with them.
Step 2: Put a Fraud Alert on Your Credit
Contact any one of the three major credit bureaus and ask them to place a "fraud alert" on your credit report. As soon as one credit bureau confirms your fraud alert, the other two credit bureaus should automatically place fraud alerts on your file as well.
You’ll get credit reports from all three credit bureaus for free. Review your credit reports carefully.
If you already have a police report, file number or complaint number from your local law enforcement agency, give that information to the credit bureaus, too.
Contact one of the credit bureaus:
Step 3: Contact the Fraud Departments of Your Creditors
Report the fraud to the fraud departments for all of your credit cards, banks and other creditors. Report it even if your account with that particular creditor has not been the subject of fraud. Ask each creditor to place a "fraud alert" on your account.
If there are illegal charges on your accounts, most creditors will also ask you to submit a written report of the fraud, along with a police report. You can use our Identity Theft Affidavit
as part of your written report.
Step 4: Your Next Steps
Depending on the type of identity theft that happened to you, there are some additional things you can do. Read our ID Theft Victim Toolkit
to find out about other steps to take to get back your good name.