A FEW COMFORTING WORDS AND TIME SAVING SUGGESTIONS

  • Generally speaking, federal law says you—the victim of credit or banking fraud—are liable for only the first $50 of your losses if you notify financial institutions within two days of learning of the loss and many financial institutions will waive even that amount.
  • Remember, if you're a victim of identity fraud or if you have been denied credit, insurance, or employment because of something on your credit report, you're entitled to a free credit report. It's the law. (You're also entitled to a free credit report if you're unemployed or receiving welfare.)
  • Don't pay any bills that are not yours even if you think it's going to make your life easier. When you acquiesce, it's as if you're admitting that the bill is yours—Don't do it!
  • Even though your Social Security number may have been used by the identity thief, don't change it! That will only make you look more suspicious to future creditors. Your new number will be attached to your credit report along with the old numbers and that may cause delays in obtaining new credit.
  • If your driver's license number is being used by an impersonator, you should get a new license and cancel the old one. Don't cancel your driver's license number until the Department of motor vehicles verifies that a new card with your name and number was issued to an impostor at a different address.
  • If collection companies continue to harass you after you have written letters explaining the circumstances of the fraud, inform them that they're violating the law and keep documentation so you may take legal action if they persist. The fact that you know your rights and will stick up for them will often be enough to make them back away.
  • What you find out may make you upset, angry, and frightened. Such feelings are normal. You will be able to resolve the problems if you prioritize and get organized. You will get your life and identity back if you Order the FROM VICTIM TO VICTOR kit and follow the instructions carefully.
  • It may also be helpful to join a network of other victims. CALPIRG has started VOIT – Victims of Identity Theft. Privacy Rights Clearinghouse also has great support and can tell you how to connect with such groups.

2005 Porpoise Press, Inc.