Identity Theft

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The theft of an individual's identity for financial gain has become one of the most damaging and difficult crimes to deal with. We recommend that you take the following steps if you suspect you have been a victim of identity theft or believe you are likely to be:

  • Contact the three credit reporting agencies and have an advisory statement placed on your credit history advising that you are the victim of fraud and not to extend credit information to anyone without contacting you directly, first. Credit Reporting Agencies can be obtained from the DMV web site's Identity Fraud page.
  • Request a copy of your credit report and check all credit inquiries or extensions of credit you did not initiate. Ensure no credit was extended.
  • Contact any account holder unfamiliar to you, close the account, and make a report of identity theft in that jurisdiction if possible.
  • Close out all affected accounts completely. Do not freeze a block of checks and continue to use your checking account. This simply facilitates further intrusion.
  • Password protect new accounts against review or changes. Do not use your mother's maiden name, your zip code, or the last four numbers of your SSN.
  • Close out and open new credit card accounts after advising the issuer of fraudulent activity.
  • Request affidavits of forgery and return them immediately.
  • Do not enter into a civil agreement for repayment with an offending party known to you, unless you are willing to waive your right to prosecution, even if that party fails to honor the agreement.
  • Keep a log of events, phone calls, letters, whom you spoke with and when, and what was said.
  • Put together a form letter advising the merchant of the fraudulent activity on your account and your original case number. Forward this to any merchant requesting payment on a transaction you know to be fraudulent. Encourage that merchant to make a police report if he desires prosecution.
  • Keep up your log and let it do the work for you.

For more information about identify fraud, visit the following government organization websites:

DMV web site's Identity Fraud page 
Northern California Computer Crimes Task Force (NC3TF) 
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)