USED CAR FRAUD
ABOUT DON SETH
Protect Yourself from Identity Theft!
If someone has used your credit, or is using your name to establish credit, you have been the victim of Identity Theft. You should take the following steps immediately:
1. Place a "Fraud Alert" with the Credit Bureaus. Contact the Fraud Department of any one of the three major Credit Bureaus to place a "Fraud Alert" on your credit file. Whichever of the Credit Bureaus you contact is then required to place a "Fraud Alert" with the other two Bureaus for you.
Placing a "Fraud Alert" with the Credit Bureaus protects you against an identity thief continuing to open credit accounts in your name. After you place the "Fraud Alert," a bank, department store, or other credit grantor is required to call you at your home or cell phone, or send you a letter to your home address, before opening any new credit accounts in your name. It is very important that you place a "Fraud Alert" right away, to stop the identity thief from continuing to open new accounts.
more information about placing a "Fraud Alert," see:
2. Close all accounts that you know, or believe, were opened fraudulently or tampered with.
Call each company where a fraudulent account has been opened or used, and ask to speak to someone in the fraud or security department. Ask each company to close all accounts that have been fraudulently opened or used. Ask each company to send you their fraud dispute form, if the company has such a form. Complete and return any fraud dispute form that you receive - this will assist the company in investigating the fraudulent accounts.
Do not rely on a phone call alone!: Follow up your phone call with a letter closing the account, stating that you have been the victim of identity theft, and that the account was opened or used fraudulently. If you have already made your police report and FTC Identity Theft Affidavit (see numbers 3. and 4., below), send a copy of these as well. Make a photocopy of the letter before you send it, and send your letter by Certified Mail with a Return Receipt Requested. It is important that you send something in writing, so that you have proof that you closed the account and reported the fraud.
3. File a police report with your local police, or with the police in the location where the identity theft took place.
File a report with the police, stating that you have been the victim of identity theft and fraud. Bring with you to the police station the specific information about the fraudulent accounts you are reporting. Ask the police officer to list the company names and account numbers that you are reporting as fraudulent.
Sometimes the police cannot give you a copy of the report at the time you make it; it can take a week or two for the report to be ready for you to pick up. Make sure to go back and pick up a copy when the report is ready.
In order to show that the fraudulent accounts are not yours, many companies will require that you send them a copy of this police report. Without the police report, many companies will not take your fraud claim seriously.
4. Fill out the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Identity Theft Affidavit, and have it notarized.
can find the Affidavit here:
An Affidavit is a written statement that you swear is true. In order to show that the fraudulent accounts are not yours, many companies will ask you to send a notarized affidavit, stating that the accounts are not yours. The FTC Affidavit fulfills this requirement.
After the Affidavit is completed and notarized, it is a good idea to make several copies and keep them in your files, so that you have a copy ready to send to each company as you discover new fraudulent accounts.
5. Get a free copy of your credit report from each Credit Bureau, review them for fraudulent accounts, and dispute in writing each fraud account with all three of the Credit Bureaus.
Contact each Credit Bureau and request a free copy of your credit report. The contact information for each of the three major credit bureaus is above, in item number 1. Each Credit Bureau is required by law to give you a free copy of your credit report if you suspect that you have been the victim of fraud.
After you receive your credit reports, review each report carefully. Write a letter to each of the Credit Bureaus, telling them about each account that is not yours, or that has been fraudulently used. Attach a copy of the police report and FTC affidavit to each letter to the Credit Bureaus.
If fraud accounts continue to appear on your credit reports after you have written to each Credit Bureau, contact our office.
To protect yourself in the future from Identity Theft, follow these tips:
1. Dont carry your Social Security card in your wallet.
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