- In This Article
- File a police report with local law enforcement
- Reverse a bankruptcy declared by an imposter
- Interface with the proper authorities
Depending on the severity and complexity of identity theft, there may be varying degrees in the difficulty of clearing your record. A stolen credit card is easier to take care of then someone who is using your SSN to work and has filed a bankruptcy with your name. Here are recovery tips for 11 types of fraud.
1. Checking account: There are several types of checking account issues, including:
Checking account takeover
Stolen, washed or duplicated checks
Synthesized checks - With a good computer and printer anyone can put your name on a check and create a bank account number.
Cashing a stolen or counterfeit check - In this situation, someone asks you to cash a check they write to you or endorse to you. This is most likely a scam.
In all instances, you should file a police report as soon as possible. In some states, a bounced check may generate a warrant for your arrest. You need to clear the account problem with the bank and merchant and have that bank or merchant contact law enforcement to drop all charges. You will need to follow-up with the issuer of the warrant (usually the District Attorney or States Attorney) to assure that the warrant is withdrawn. Don't forget to get a “Letter of Clearance” to keep permanently.
2. Someone working as you: When someone is working as you, several types of problems may occur, on both the federal and state level. The first step is to contact the Social Security Administration and ask for a detailed non-certified copy of your work history. Check it over carefully to see if it is correct.
3. Government Benefit Fraud:
Federal Benefit problems - This situation can occur due to clerical errors, stolen mail or identity theft. Speak to the duty agent of the Office of the Inspector General of the Social Security Administration. They will initiate an investigation. If you are aware of an older person, or someone who is deceased, having problems due to the theft of Social Security benefits, the OIG will assist you. You may also talk with your elder abuse department of the local police department.
State or county benefit programs - Most of these agencies have a fraud investigation unit. Talk with your case manager for a referral.
4. IRS issues: Some victims find out about an identity theft case when the following issues occur. In all of these situations, the initial step is to contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit, toll-free at 800-908-4490.
You also may contact the IRS Taxpayer Advocate if you have an unresolved issue related to identity theft, or you have suffered, or are about to suffer a significant hardship as a result of the administration of the tax laws, i.e. wage garnishment. Visit the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service. Additional information is also available on the IRS Website.
Examples of IRS issues include:
Child support payments are deducted from your paycheck (in this case you may need to contact the county or state that is garnishing payments).
The IRS contacts you about taxes owned due to an additional source of income, such as a second job, not reported by you.
The IRS says that your child’s SSN is already listed as a dependent on another tax return.
5. Debt collection: Never pay a bill that you don’t owe.
6. Bankruptcy issues: All bankruptcies need to be addressed by the Office of the Trustee of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Under the new federal law, bankruptcies declared by an imposter can be reversed. This is a situation in which you may wish to consult an attorney to make sure the paperwork is filed correctly.
7. Fraudulent change of address: If you suspect mail theft or mail fraud, contact the U.S. Postal Inspectors (USPIS) at 800-275-8777. When you move, a “change address form” is sent to both the new address and old address. Should you receive a notification and you haven’t moved, this is a warning to contact the USPIS immediately. A contact phone number is provided on the form you receive.
8. Student loans: If it appears that someone has applied for and received a student loan in your name without your approval, you need to take action quickly. If you already have proof of a problem, call the U.S. Dept. of Education Inspector General’s Hotline: 1-800-MIS-USED (647-8733). Also, contact the three credit reporting agencies and order copies of all three of your credit reports. These reports will be free, since you suspect that you are a victim of identity theft.
Report any fraudulent activity to the police by filing a police report. A police report will help you to establish your status as a victim and provides you specific rights under state and federal laws.
Unfortunately some parents (family identity theft) do this and the police mistakenly say that since the victim benefited from the loan, it is not a crime. That is not true. Any use of your information without your consent is fraud and a crime. If you are unsure of how to proceed due to family issues, contact the ITRC toll-free at 1-888-400-5530.
9. DMV issues: When you become aware that someone else may have a driver’s license with your information, you need to speak with the DMV fraud investigator or Department of Public Safety in your state or in the state where the problem is occurring. This action will start an investigation to determine the real license holder.
Should you lose your driver’s license, you will need to go back into your local office and have it replaced. Bring identifying information with you so that they can ensure you are the true licensee and not an imposter.
10. Identity theft in domestic situations: Each case is unique. Identity theft in a domestic situation has a varied emotional and financial impact on the victim. This requires the assistance of a specially trained advocate. Please contact the ITRC toll-free at 1-888-400-5530.
11. Medical identity theft: You might find this has occurred if you receive a bill for medical or pharmacy services, or you have been alerted, via an Explanation of Benefits, from your health insurance company of the use of your health insurance information.
Copyright © 2011, Identity Theft Resource Center®. All rights reserved. Any requests to reproduce this material, other than by individual victims for their own use, should be directed to ITRC@idtheftcenter.org. This fact sheet should not be used in lieu of legal advice. This article is referenced as "Fact Sheet 100A: More Complex Cases" on the Identity Theft Resources Center website.