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Department News

Identity Theft

Information courtesy of “It’s MI Identity”

Michigan Attorney General’s Office

FACTS ABOUT IDENTITY THEFT

  • Every year, nearly 7 Million people across the nation become victims of identity theft.
  • Identity theft in Michigan is greater than the National average for credit card, telephone, cell phone and utility frauds.
  • Most victims of identity theft in Michigan are more than 40 years old.
  • Identity theft victims can be living or deceased.
  • Many identity theft victims fail to notify the proper authorities and fail to file formal complaints.
  • The average identity theft victim spends 175 hours of time and $1400.00 to restore their credit.

PREVENTION

  • Never give out your Social Security number, Driver’s license, or other identifying information unless you know the person or organization or you initiated the contact.
  • Treat checkbooks, ATM cards, Credit card offers as if they’re cash-PROTECT THEM.
  • Before discarding you should shred personal information such as receipts, insurance forms, bank and credit card statements and other offers.
  • Notify financial institutions and credit card companies before relocating to a new home or care facility.
  • Have your mail held when going on vacation or into the hospital.
  • Cancel unneeded Credit cards.
  • Say NO to credit card offers by calling 1-888-5-OPT-OUT (567-8688)
  • Keep a list of customer service telephone numbers for current accounts in case you need to report a credit card stolen or any other kind of identity theft.
  • Review financial and credit card statements each month for unauthorized activity.
  • Obtain and review a copy of your credit report each year. A list of credit reporting agencies will follow below.
  • Obtain and read the Federal Trade Commission Booklet on identity theft at www.consumer.gov/idtheft.
  • Know the law, Identity theft is a felony in Michigan. For more information about this law, please visit www.mileg.org.

WHAT DO I DO IF IT HAPPENS TO ME?

If you’re a victim of identity theft, don’t panic. Do the following:

  1. Immediately contact the three credit reporting agencies listed at the end of this page. Ask for a “fraud alert” which will help prevent new credit accounts from being opened without your consent.
  2. File a report with the local police agency.
  3. Contact the Postal Inspection Office www.usps.com/websites/depart/inspect. Because most identity theft crimes involve the use of the mail, the U.S. Postal Service is also a lead agency in investigating these crimes.
  4. Contact the Social Security Administration Fraud Hotline (1-800-269-0271). Alert them that your number has been stolen.
  5. Contact your banks and credit card companies. Review your statements!
  6. Notify the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-438-4338.
  7. If you live in a resident care facility, contact the Michigan Attorney General’s Healthcare Fraud Division and fill out the ID theft Affidavit. Call: Healthcare Fraud Division 1-800-24-ABUSE (242-2873).

THREE MAJOR CREDIT REPORTING AGENCIES

EXPERIAN

www.experian.com

To order a report-call: (888) 397-3742

To report a fraud-call: (888) EXPERIAN

TDD: (800) 972-0322, and write: P.O. Box9532, Allen Tx 75013

 

EQUIFAX

www.equifax.com

To order a report-call: (800) 685-1111

To order fraud-call: (800) 525-6285

TDD: (800) 225-0056, and write: P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241

 

TRANSUNION

www.transunion.com

To order a report-call: (800) 888-4213

To report a fraud-call: (800) 680-7289

TDD: (877) 553-7803, and/or:

Fax: (714) 447-6034,

email: fvad@transunion.com

Fraud Victim Assistance Department

P.O. BOX 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834-6790

For more good information on Identity theft scams check out www.idtheftcenter.org