What is an identity theft report?
An identity theft report allows a victim of a crime to have the theft logged down either in written or printed form, allowing the crime to be investigated by local, state or even federal authorities.
It provides authorities with a written description of the crime to aid in their investigation, and ensures the details are kept on file for future reference.
It helps agencies track how often a theft occurs and who’s being targeted.
How to file an identity theft report?
Get started by contacting the Federal Trade Commission.
You can do this by logging on to www.identitytheft.gov and clicking on the “Get Started” link.
Once you’re on the website, you’ll be asked to provide as many details about the theft as possible.
The FTC will also take a theft report over the phone at 1-877-438-4338.
You’ll want to contact your local law enforcement agency as soon as possible.
Where you live determines who you may need to contact, such as a city police department or county sheriff’s office.
Jurisdictions vary by location, so start by looking online to see who’s responsible for investigating crimes where you live.
Some departments may have an online form to fill out.
Others will ask you to come in person to file, and others may send a police officer to your home or office to take down a report.
Once you’ve filed with the FTC and received your police report, you will have created your identity theft report.
What does an identity theft report include?
When you file an identity theft report with a local law enforcement agency, you may be asked to provide specific information.
That could include your full name, your birth date, and other important information such as where you live or work.
Officers may also want to know how to contact you by phone, at home or at work.
Authorities will ask for a narrative of how your identity might have been stolen and where the crime occurred.
They’ll also ask when it took place, if you know who may have taken your identity or personal information, and any details that might help an investigation.
The FTC’s online theft report specifically asks what was taken: Credit cards? Phone or utility accounts? Bank account information?
How about employment or tax records? Government benefit information or identifications? Loans or leases?
You may also be asked if the thief was able to use your information to create an email or social media account, to buy products online or at a local store without your permission.
They’ll also need to know if it was used to purchase insurance or take out a loan, to get medical care, or to perform some other activity.
Why file an identity theft report?
Filing an identity theft report may help local authorities find and return your stolen data, identity, or other documents.
Many times, identity thieves target more than one victim, and your property could show up at a crime scene or when police make an arrest.
If you’ve filed the proper theft report, authorities will be able to find you in their computer system – even if your property shows up in another location.
When you file an identity theft report with the Federal Trade Commission, you will receive an Identity Theft Affidavit, which is a notarized record that certifies you have been a victim of identity theft.
This affidavit includes important information that you might need to pass onto a creditor, business or banking institution.
It can help keep thieves from ruining your credit or using your money for unauthorized purchases.
What do you do with your identity theft report?
You will need to submit your identity theft report (through certified mail) to the three major credit reporting companies to correct any fraudulent items that show up on a credit report.
Here are the links for each bureau:
You’ll need to submit your report when disputing any fraudulent charges made with any business. Document everything and everyone you talk to for your records.
As you have just read, you will need your identity theft report to get anything accomplished and restore your credit profile.