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In all seriousness, please. My wallet was stolen about a month ago and I'm worried that I will fall subject to Identity theft. The thief has already made charges up to $400 on my credit card before it was cancelled. I'm only 18 years old so I don't know what the thief might do with my ID, but it's still an issue. I had $100 in cash in the wallet as well. The thief made 7 charges in Webster Hall, so I figure all that is needed to catch this criminal would be to match the surveillance tapes with the times he used the credit card and it should be the same person on the tapes those 7 times....But I heard that less than 1% of Identity thieves are caught. What can I do? What can be done to help stop this epidemic?
I would suggest canceling every credit card that you have and reopening it, and doing the same for every other card, such as a drivers license. 1. File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where it was stolen, this proves to credit providers you were diligent, and is a first step toward an investigation (if there ever is one). 2. But here's what is perhaps most important: (I never ever thought to do this) - Call the three national credit reporting organizations immediately to place a fraud alert on your name and SS# Equifax: 1-800-525-6285 Experian (formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742 Trans Union: 1-800-680-7289 Social Security Administration (fraud line): 1-800-269-0271 or just get on their websites
At least you are actually aware that there are other ways your identity can be used that AREN'T credit-related! There are hundreds of ways your identity can be used that will never show on any credit report: immigration fraud, medical fraud, false driver’s licenses, tax fraud, utilities fraud, employment fraud… The first thing you absolutely need to do is protect yourself immediately by enrolling with a good IDT company. Thankfully, there are now a few companies out there that monitor your full identity by monitoring more than just your credit. When it comes to finding a good company to protect your identity from theft and fraud, look for companies that can: 1. Find it. 2. Stop it. 3. Fix it. I have worked with and for some of the top companies out there and would be more than happy to point you in the right direction as it is important that you not only have protection for the future (thieves will wait MONTHS to use an identity) but that you have your identity audited immediately for suspicious activity. I know of some companies that can do both, feel free to IM/EM me Best: LRK
Cancel all your credit cards and accounts. Put a fraud alert on all 3 credit reports. Invest in a good identity theft protection. The one I have gives me unlimited access to my credit report and alerts me if anyone attempts to use my personal information. Make sure the identity theft protection service does all the restoration work for you. I have SOLUS Oregon - If I ever become a victim they do all the restoration on my behalf including legal.
In addition to cancelling the cards, ect. You need to contact the Federal Trade Commission 1) By law, once you report the loss or theft, you have no further responsibility for unauthorized charges. In any event, your maximum liability under federal law is $50 per card. If you suspect fraud, you may be asked to sign a statement under oath that you did not make the purchase(s) in question. 2) The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues, visit or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.
Sorry to hear that your wallet was stolen. Since you canceled the credit card, you shouldn't be liable for any charges the thief has made. Once the card is canceled it is useless to them. Request copies of all three credit reports, Experian, Equifax and Transunion and start monitoring them to see if any other odd charges are appearing. I hope that the person(s) doesn't ruin your credit. Whenever I get mail at home I always shred anything that has my name on it before throwing it away. When you get those solitication phone calls never give out any information. Thieves are slick, but just be careful who you give your personal information out to. Good luck with your situation.