Disaster Ready People 12 Month Guide – Month 11: If You are a Victim

The accidental and increasingly intentional loss of information from data collection centers (hackers and inside jobs) makes you vulnerable despite all the precautionary measure you might take. If you do become a target of identity theft, or suspect that you are a victim of it:

Call your bank/credit card companies immediately. Your credit cards have a toll-free number on the back, but if your card has been stolen, refer to the information you recorded earlier as part of your Personal Preaction™ Plan. Otherwise, refer to your monthly statement for this number and an e-mail address.

Call your bank(s) and other providers of extended credit. If you discover your checks have been stolen, call the bank at once.

Call the police. Your local police or sheriff’s department will not be able to do much about your stolen identity, but you need to file a report. Having a report on file is a requirement for insurance and other claims, and can expedite the recovery of the lost, misused or stolen items(s).

Notify all three credit bureaus and speak with someone in the fraud division. After calling, follow-up with a letter that outlines your situation and reiterates your conversation with the phone representative. Do not rely solely on your call for someone else to accurately report your case. You need to be assertive and proactive in this regard.

Equifax: (888) 766-0008; P.O. Box 740250, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241

Experian (Formerly TRW): (888) 397-3742; P.O. Box 1017, Allen, TX 75013

Trans Union: (800) 680-7289; P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92634

Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC): (877) 438-4338; Consumer Response Center, FTC, Room 130-A, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20580 or you can e-mail them at:


They won’t help you resolve your individual situation but they do maintain a database that sometimes leads to law enforcement involvement. Filing a complaint with them helps

Stop identity theft

Track statistics by recording the increasingly widespread occurrence of identity theft and the stories behind each offence.

Next>> Month 11: Other Safeguards