Getting Help if You’ve Been a Victim of a Con, Scam, or Fraud Scheme
If you’ve experienced a con, scam, or fraud scheme, there are three major things you can do to fight back.
1. Stop thieves in their tracks
- Get a copy of your credit report from all three of the credit reporting agencies and read them thoroughly for signs that thieves have been assuming debt under your name.
- If there are accounts, transactions or inquiries that you do not recognize, write a letter explaining such to the credit-reporting agency and ask that it be taken off your credit file. This forces the credit-reporting agency to investigate the entry. Send this request certified mail/return receipt requested.
- Equifax – www.equifax.com/credit-information/identity-theft 1-800-525-6285 P.O. Box 105069, Atlanta, GA 30348
- Experian – www.experian.com/identity_fraud/index.html 1-888-397-3742 P.O. Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013
- TransUnion – www.transunion.com/corporate/personal/fraudIdentityTheft.page 1-800-680-7289 (Fraud Victim Assistance Division) P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834-6790
- Order a fraud alert from one of the three credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, Trans Union). That credit-reporting agency will inform the other two.
- Contact your creditors and ask to speak to the Fraud Department. Ask that your accounts be closed or given new account numbers. Again, confirm this request in writing and send it certified mail/return receipt requested.
- Consider putting a credit freeze on all three of your credit files at the credit reporting agencies.
2. Report the crime
- Go to www.ftc.gov/idtheft or call 877-438-4338 or TDD (202) 326-2502 to file a report with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
- Print out or request an Identity Theft Affidavit.
- Complete it and save it somewhere safe in your home.
- Go to your local police station and file a police report of the crime. Brings copies of accounts statements, credit reports or other related documents to serve as evidence. Also, submit a copy of your Identity Theft Affidavit.
- Ask for a copy of the completed police report for your records.
- Police reports and Identity Theft Affidavits are often the strongest evidence you can provide in order to get your money back from any criminal activity recorded using your identity.
3. Take steps to prevent identity theft and financial fraud from happening again.