Combating Identity Theft

There has been a noted interest about identity theft because of hackers, fraudulent check scams, mail box theftsand among other things what Target is doing after their widely publicized  breach.

This blog entry provides resources and information available on the internet to protect your identity and  if you suspect that your identity has been compromised.

 Arizona Law/Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) relating to Identity Theft

Arizona Department of Public Safety:  Crime Victims Services

Arizona Judicial Branch: Identity Theft Information

Arizona Attorney General: Identity Theft

An easy way to keep an eye on credit is to obtain a free annual credit report from the three nationwide credit reporting agencies.

The Federal Trade Commission website is filled with information to help protect consumers; these are just a few of the resources:

The Internal Revenue Service offers tips to protect your identity and what to do if you are a victim.

“On this page, you will find a wide range of information. Depending upon your personal circumstances, the information found here will cover a variety of scenarios involving identity theft, ranging from contacting us with a case of identity theft to providing tips to help keep your records safe.”

Two important resources not to be overlooked at the IRS website:

 

“Mission:  •Provide best-in-class victim assistance at no charge to consumers throughout the United States . •Educate consumers, corporations, government agencies, and other organizations on best practices for fraud and identity theft detection, reduction and mitigation. •Serve as a relevant national resource on consumer issues related to cybersecurity, data breaches, social media, fraud, scams and other issues.”

 

The National Identity Theft Victims Assistance Network (NITVAN)

“NITVAN seeks to expand and improve the outreach and capacity of victim service programs to better address the rights and needs of victims of identity theft nationwide by building the field’s capacity to provide a coordinated response to the problem. With assistance from the National Network, new coalitions have formed across the country.”  NITVAN Arizona State Victim Resources: Provides local agency resources, laws, and information regarding being a victim of identity theft.

Below are interactive forms available to assist you once your identity has been stolen.

Available from LawHelp Interactive:

Letter to Creditor 
To use the interactive interview for responding to someone collecting a bill that is in your name, but a bill you did not authorize, you will need a copy of the bill in hand when you start the interview. 
You will also need to provide a copy of your proof of your identity. 
Click below to use the interactive interview for a Letter to a Creditor, directly collecting their own bill. This might be a credit card statement you received that contains charges you didn’t make or authorize. It can be any situation where your credit or identity was used without your permission.
Letter to Creditor – Identity Theft
Letter to Debt Collector
To use the interactive interview for responding to a company or law firm that is a Debt Collector, or collecting a bill that is in your name but you did not authorize, you will need a copy of their letter in hand when you start the interview. 
You will also need to provide a copy of your police report and proof of your identity, by copying these and putting them in the letter. Click below to use the interactive interview for a Letter to Debt Collector.
Letter to Debt Collector – Identity Theft
 Letter to Credit Bureau
To use the interactive interview to create a letter to a Credit Bureau, seeking investigation and removal from your credit report of items that are the result of identity theft, you will need a copy of your credit report in hand when you start the interview. 
You can obtain a free copy of your credit report from each credit bureau here. You do not have to pay for a copy of your credit report. One credit report from each company is available to you free each year. 
You will mail the letter and attachment, a copy of your credit report with the incorrect items circled, a copy of the police report you made of the identity theft and proof of your identity with the letter. 
Click below to use the interactive interview for a Letter to a Credit Bureau.
Letter to Credit Bureau – Identity Theft
 
Tempe Police Department has a packet available for identity theft victims: http://www.tempe.gov/modules/showdocument.aspx?documentid=8578
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