Identity Theft: 4 Fast Tips

Identity theft is more than just a financial issue. It creates emotional stress.

Contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for information on how to network with other victims and deal with the impact of this crime.

In the meantime –

1. Track all conversations and communications

In dealing with the authorities and financial institutions:

  • Keep a log of all conversations, including dates, names, and phone
    numbers.
  • Note time spent and expenses you incur in case you may be reimbursed or if
    you can deduct theft-related expenses from your taxes (consult your accountant).
  • Confirm conversations in writing.
  • Send correspondence by certified mail, return receipt requested. Keep copies of all letters and documents that you send out to companies and bureaus.

2. Don’t pay bills without checking with your advisors.

Consult your credit card company, bank or attorney before paying any bill that is a result of fraud.

3. Be prepared to wait for a resolution.

While your credit rating should not be permanently affected, it does take time to clear the ID theft off your record.

4. Don’t be intimidated into paying.

No legal action should be taken against you. If any merchant, financial company or collection agency suggests otherwise, restate your willingness to cooperate, but don’t allow yourself to be coerced into paying fraudulent bills. If this does happen, report the issue to government regulators immediately.