Your Creditors

Contact the fraud departments of each of your creditors. Make phone calls today if your cards have been stolen. If your ATM or debit card has been stolen, even if you are unsure whether these cards have been used, report the thefts immediately to your bank or card issuer. If your credit cards have been stolen, also report these thefts immediately, whether or not you are aware that the cards have been used. If you are obtaining new accounts from your creditors, make sure to use new personal identification numbers (PINs) and passwords.

Make a list of all of the financial institutions where you do business, including your credit card companies and all of the financial institutions where you have checking, savings, investment, or other accounts. You should also identify your telephone, cell phone and Internet service providers. To make sure that each of your creditors is aware that an identity thief may have your account information, report to each of these companies that you have been the victim of identity theft, even if that particular company has not been the subject of the fraud. Ask each of your creditors to place a fraud alert on your account. It is a good idea to follow up in writing to each of the companies that you contact, and to keep a record of your letters.

File a Police Report

File a police report with your local police department, keep a copy for yourself, and give a copy to your creditors and the credit bureaus. Massachusetts law provides that identity theft is a crime ( M.G.L. c. 266, s. 37E). You should be aware that not all identity theft complaints can or will be investigated. However, by providing law enforcement offices with a written report, you make it possible for law enforcement offices to spot trends and patterns, and to identify the prevalence of identity theft.