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.
www.equifax.com (800-525-6285)
www.experian.com (888-397-3742)
www.transunion.com (800-680-7289)

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.