1. File a report in the jurisdiction where the fraud occurred
and classify it under your jurisdiction's identity theft or fraud
code. A police report is critical in helping victims get rid of
fraudulent debts and clear up their credit reports. If your state
doesn't have an identity theft statute, take a Miscellaneous
Incidents report or your jurisdiction's equivalent.
2. Advise victims to:
• Call the toll-free fraud number of any
one of the three major credit bureaus to place a fraud alert on
their credit report. Fraud alerts can help prevent an identity thief
from opening additional accounts in victims’ names. As soon as the
credit bureau confirms the fraud alert, the other two credit bureaus
will automatically be notified to place fraud alerts, and all three
credit reports will be sent to the victim free of charge.
• Close the accounts that victims know or believe have been
tampered with or opened fraudulently. When disputing new
unauthorized accounts, many banks and creditors will accept the ID
Theft Affidavit, which will save victims valuable time in the
• File a complaint with the FTC using
online complaint form; or call the FTC's Identity Theft Hotline,
toll-free: 1-877-ID-THEFT (438-4338); TTY: 1-866-653-4261; or write
Identity Theft Clearinghouse, Federal Trade Commission, 600
Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580.
3. Give victims a copy of
Take Charge: Fighting Back Against Identity Theft, which tells
consumers how to minimize the risk of and recover from identity
theft. Request a free CD-ROM, which you can use to print copies with
your department's logo on the cover.
Identity Theft Information and Affidavit Packet
the Federal Trade Commission Website