This article gives a brief definition of “Identity Theft” and explains how and why you should file a Police report.
Definition of Identity Theft
Identity theft is the intentional and illegal act of stealing someone’s name, social security number, credit cards and driver’s license and using that person’s personal information to open accounts, withdraw funds from bank accounts, assume their identity, work under the social security , file taxes and commit crimes.
How to file the Police report
Primarily, alert your bank that you are a victim of identity theft and shut down your account, change account numbers or freeze your account.
(Note): you are a victim where you live. You do not need to call every state or city where your identity was used to try to file a Police report.
Call your local Police department where you live and find out what reporting options are available to you.
You may be able to file the report on-line, over the phone or in person by going to the Police station. Some Police departments may send a Patrol car to your location to take a report.
It is better that you go in person to the Police station so you can provide the Police with all the necessary documentation that is needed for the report.
Once you have filed a Police report, you can also file a report with the Federal Trade Commission who will put a seven year alert on your identity. www.FTC.gov
What you need to file the report
You will need proper identification to start the report, a complete bank statement and an affidavit of fraud from your bank. You can download an affidavit of fraud on the Federal Trade Commission website at www.FTC.gov under the link, “Identity Theft”.
You may provide any suspect information to the Police or any further information that you might have that could help apprehend the criminal.
Why file a report
You are filing an Identity Theft report for several reasons. First, there is a chance of catching the suspect and bringing them to justice and so this will not happen to anyone else.
Filing Police reports also help cover you so your bank can reimburse you of any losses, your credit card company and relieve you of any responsibility of fraudulent charges and alerts can be placed on your social security number and your credit.
Filing a Police report with the Police is a very simple process although there is a pain staking process getting your identity back in order.
Make sure, once you file a Police report that you always get your Police report case number and either a receipt that you filed a report or an actual copy of the report for your records.
Article also posted on Triond by Scott Hallock