Handling Identity Theft
While filing hundreds of Toledo, Ohio area bankruptcy cases over the last several years, it has come to my attention that being a victim of identity theft is no longer a rare occurrence. Many of my clients find debt on their credit reports that they did not incur.
I also have bankruptcy clients who cannot get their tax refunds because another party has fraudulently filed a tax return using their social security number.
If you are a victim of identity theft, consider following these steps:
1) Contact local police and the Federal Trade Commission at www.identitytheft.gov or 877-438-4338.
2) Notify the three major credit bureaus. They will allow you to pull a free credit report.
3) Report the problem to the Identity Protection Unit of the IRS at 800-908-4490.
4) Alert the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213 or www.ssa.gov.
5) Consider hiring a private company to track your credit activity.
It is important that you act quickly to minimize the damage that these criminals can cause.