Call the fraud units of the three major credit bureaus
and request a "fraud alert"
be placed on your credit file. Order copies of your credit report
from the credit bureaus to check whether any fraudulent accounts were opened without your knowledge or consent. Contact all creditors
with whom your name or identifying data may have been fraudulently used. Furthermore, contact all financial institutions
where you have accounts that an identity thief has taken over your account or where an account has been created in your name without your knowledge. You may have to cancel these accounts. You may also place stop payment orders on any outstanding checks that have not cleared, as well as change your ATM card, account, and PIN. Record the names and phone numbers
of people with whom you discussed your case and retain all original reports and supporting documents. Finally, contact the Federal Trade Commission
to report the situation or contact the Massachusetts State Police at 1-508-820-2370
for further investigation of information.
To victims of identity theft and fraud, the task of correcting incorrect information about their financial and personal status, and trying to restore their good names and reputations, may seem like trying to solve a puzzle in which some of the pieces are missing and other pieces no longer fit as they once did. Unfortunately, the damage that criminals do in stealing another person's identity and using it to commit identity fraud often takes far longer to undo than it took the criminal to commit the crimes.