Identity Theft pmd Florida Attorney General

					            What is Identity Theft?                                 Where Does the                                 Navigating through the system as an identity theft
                                                                                                                   victim can be a lengthy and confusing process. As       Step 2
                                                                                                                                                                                          Contact the fraud
                                                                                                                                                                                          department of each of
                                                                    Information About                              you contact law enforcement, creditors, and
                                                                                                                   financial institutions, it is important that you keep
                                                                                                                                                                                          your creditors.
Identity theft is the criminal use of an individual’s
personal identification information. Identity thieves               Me Come From?                                  track of the actions you take.                          Report the incident to each creditor, even if your
                                                                                                                                                                           account at that institution has not been tampered
steal information such as your name, Social              Many places! You do not need to lose your wallet          When your identity is                                   with.
Security number, driver license information, or bank     or have anything tangible stolen in order for             stolen your personal
and credit card accounts and use the information                                                                   identifiers can be                                      Follow up in writing immediately.
                                                         someone to steal your identity.
to establish credit, make purchases, apply for loans                                                               misused in a variety of
or even seek employment.                                 By simply failing to shred your confidential              different ways. As
                                                                                                                                                                           Step 3         Contact your bank or
                                                         information, utility bills, credit card slips and other   soon as you become
The statistics are                                       documents, it is easy for an                                                                                                     financial institution.
                                                                                                                   aware that your
staggering. According to                                 identity thief to “Dumpster                                                                                       If your checks have been stolen, or if you believe
                                                                                                                   information has been
the Federal Trade                                        dive” your garbage and                                                                                            they have been used, contact your bank or credit
                                                                                                                   misused, there are several basic steps you should
Commission (FTC), Florida                                retrieve your most personal                                                                                       union and stop payment right away.
                                                                                                                   take that apply to nearly all kinds of identity theft
was ranked fifth in the                                  identifying information.                                  cases:                                                  Call SCAN at 1-800-262-7771
nation for identity theft in
2006, with 17,780 reported                               In addition, if an identity                                                                                       to learn if bad checks have
victims and 25,902 cases of fraud reported.              thief were to illegally                                                Report the incident to the                 been passed in your name.
                                                         obtain your credit report,                                Step 1       fraud department of the
Identity thieves often steal thousands of dollars                                                                                                                          If you suspect your accounts
                                                         they would have all the                                                three major credit bureaus.
from unsuspecting victims, in the victim’s own                                                                                                                             have been compromised,
                                                         information necessary to become you.
name, without the victim knowing about the fraud                                                                   1. Ask the credit bureaus to place a “fraud alert”      cancel your checking and
for months or sometimes years.                           You should also know that much of your identify-          on your credit report.                                  savings accounts and obtain
                                                         ing information is readily available on the Internet,                                                             new account numbers.
                                                         or even at your local courthouse, where it is             2. Order copies of your credit reports and review
                                                         accessible by filing a public records request.            for fraud.
          How Does Identity                                                                                        Equifax
                                                                                                                                                                                         Report the incident to law
          Theft Occur?                                                                                   
                                                                                                                   To order your report: 1-800-685-1111
                                                                                                                                                                           Step 4
All that is needed is a little information. Armed with              What Can I Do?                                 To report fraud: 1-800-525-6285
                                                                                                                                                                           Contact your local police department or sheriff’s
this identifying information the identity thief can                                                                TDD: 800-255-0056
                                                                                                                                                                           office to file a report. Under Florida law, the report
apply in person for instant credit, or through the       Florida’s Identity Theft Resource and Response            TransUnion                                              may be filed in the location in which the offense
mail by posing as you. Often, an identity thief will     center is a good place to start. This resource                                        occurred or the city or county in which you reside.
provide their own address (claiming to have moved)       provides exhaustive information regarding how to          To order your report: 1-800-888-4213
in an effort to prolong the fraud. Negligent credit                                                                                                                        When you file the report, provide as much
                                                         prevent ID theft, as well as a step-by-step               To report fraud: 1-800-680-7289
grantors, in their rush to issue credit, do not verify                                                                                                                     documentation as possible, including copies of
                                                         walkthrough for reporting victimization and               TDD: 877-553-7803
information or addresses. Once the impostor opens                                                                                                                          debt collection letters, credit reports, and your
                                                         rebuilding credit.                                        Experian
the first account, they can use this new account,                                                                                                                          notarized ID Theft Affidavit.
                                                         Florida’s Identity Theft Victim Kit,            
along with the other                                                                                                                                                       Request a copy of the
                                                provides             To order your report: 1-888-EXPERIAN(397-3742)
identifying                                                                                                                                                                police report. Some
                                                         everything from contact information for the three         To report fraud: 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742)
information to bolster                                                                                                                                                     creditors will request
                                                         major credit bureaus, to standard affidavits.             TDD: 800-972-0322
their credibility and                                                                                                                                                      to see the report to
obtain even more                                         This kit is designed to help you through the                                                                      remove the debts
credit in your name.                                     process of resolving your identity theft case and                                                                 created by the identity
                                                         clearing your name.                                                                                               thief.
                                                                                                                               Preventing Identity
                                        What else can I do?                                                                    Theft
                                                                                                                   Reduce your chances of being a victim of
                                                                                                                   identity theft by remaining vigilant in all financial
File a complaint with the FTC’s Identity                 history files and provide you with a Compromised          matters and taking precautions to protect your
Theft Clearinghouse                                      Identity Certificate. Contact FDLE at 850-410-8880.       personal identifiers.
The Clearinghouse is the federal government’s            Remove your personal identifiers from                     1. Order and closely review copies of your credit
repository for ID theft complaints. Information is                                                                 report from each national credit reporting agency
                                                         Florida court records
entered into a central database which is accessed                                                                  once a year.
                                                         Any person has the right to request the Clerk of
by many local and state law enforcement agencies
                                                         the Circuit Court to redact/remove his or her Social      2. Reconcile your financial statements (bank and
in Florida, as well as Florida’s Attorney General, for
                                                         Security number, bank account number, credit,             credit card) on a monthly basis.
identity theft investigations. Call the toll-free
                                                         debit or charge card number from an image or copy
hotline at 1-877-IDTHEFT.                                                                                          3. Empty your wallet of extra credit cards and
                                                         of an Official Record that has been placed on such                                                                                                IDs. Close all unused credit card or bank
                                                         Clerk’s records, or in a court file. If you believe
Flag your Florida Driver License                         your personal information appears in a publicly
At your request, the Fraud Section of the                available record, contact your County Clerk’s             4. Shred pre-approved credit applications, credit
Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles          Office.                                                   card receipts, bills, and other financial
will place a flag on your driver license if you are a                                                              information you don’t want before discarding
                                                         Report Mail Theft to the U.S. Postal
victim of identity theft (regardless of whether your                                                               them in the trash or recycling bin.
Florida Driver’s License has been compromised).
                                                         Inspection Service
                                                         The U.S. Postal Inspection Service will investigate       5. Only release your personal data to businesses
To reach the Fraud Section, call (850) 617-2405.                                                                   that require it for action you have initiated. Never
                                                         if your mail has been stolen by an identity thief and
Get assistance through Florida’s Fraud                   was used to obtain new credit or commit fraud.            give this information to unsolicited telephone
Hotline                                                  Incidents should be reported to your nearest U.S.         callers or over the Internet.
Florida’s Attorney General provides a toll-free          Postal Inspection Service district office.                6. Guard your passwords and PIN numbers
fraud hotline for Floridians who are the victims of                                                                closely.
                                                         Report Passport Fraud to the U.S.
fraud. Contact 1-866-9-NO-SCAM (1-866-966-
7226). Trained advocates can help provide
                                                         Department of State                                       7. Memorize your social security number and all
                                                         If your passport is lost or stolen or you believe it is   passwords. Do not record them on any cards or
additional information.
                                                         being used fraudulently, contact your local               on anything in your wallet or purse.
Check your Florida criminal history                      Department of State field office.                         8. Deposit outgoing mail in mail collection boxes
information                                                                                                        or at your local post office.
                                                         Protect your Social Security number
In some instances of identity theft, a victim may be
                                                         The Social Security Administration can verify the         9. Contact your creditor or service provider if
faced with a criminal record for a crime he or she
                                                         accuracy of the earnings reported on your social          expected bills don’t arrive.
did not commit. The Florida Department of Law
                                                         security number. To check for inaccuracies or
Enforcement can provide a Compromised Identity                                                                     10. Use caution when disclosing checking
                                                         fraud, order a copy of your Personal Earnings and
Review (based on a fingerprint comparison of state                                                                 account numbers, credit card numbers, or other
                                                         Benefit Estimate Statement (PEBES) from the Social
criminal history files). If a fingerprint check                                                                    personal financial data at any web site or online
                                                         Security Administration. Call 1-800-772-1213 or visit
determines you are an identity theft victim, FDLE                                                                  service location unless you receive a secured
will work with local law enforcement agencies to                                                                   authentication key from your provider.
attempt to clear fraudulent data from the criminal
                                                                                                                   11. Don’t e-mail your personal data unless you
                                                                                                                   use encryption technology.

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