What to do if your identity is stolen
Identity theft can destroy your good name and credit. In some cases, it can also cause you to lose money. Identity theft is a terrible intrusion and inconvenience to its victim. To minimize the damage, protect yourself from further harm, and repair your good reputation and credit, it is important to take immediate action such as the steps listed below.
For everything you do, keep good documentation and records. Be sure to submit a copy of your written ID Theft Affidavit and Applicable Fraudulent Account Statement to every party you notify.
- Notify Law Enforcement
- Call your nearest U.S. Postal Inspection service office (most identity theft involves the use of mail). www.usps.com/postalinspectors
- File a report with your local police (and keep a copy of the numbered report)
- Alert your bank(s) - Call Boston Private Client Service at 617- 912-1900. Boston Private has a highly trained fraud prevention unit that can guide you through the necessary steps to take in securing your bank accounts.
- Close your accounts, replace your ATM/Debit Cards, and change your logon/passwords for online banking access.
- Notify credit card issuers immediately. Ensure that you close any unauthorized accounts that have been falsely opened in your name or any cards that have any unauthorized transactions
- Contact the state office of the Department of Motor Vehicles to see if another license was issued in your name. If so, request a new license number and fill out the DMV's complaint form to begin the fraud investigation process. Ask if you can obtain a new license number.
- Call and report the identity theft to all three Credit Reporting Bureaus Fraud Units. Ask to have a "Fraud Alert/Victim Impact" statement placed in your credit file asking that creditors call you before opening any new accounts.
- Contact the Federal Trade Commission to report the problem. www.consumer.gov/idtheft
- Call the Social Security Administration's Fraud Hotline at 800-269-0271