An Overview of How to Deal with Identity Theft

An Overview of How to Deal with Identity Theft

how to deal with identity theftWhen Alabama consumers suspect or discover that they are victims of identity theft, the natural question that is asked is “What can I do to fix this?”

Now often this question comes after very intense emotions of frustration, betrayal, helplessness, and anger.

To have your identity stolen is to be violated.

And as we will discuss in another article, that betrayal is normally by someone we know.

These feelings can last anywhere from a few days to a number of years.

This is especially true if the victim does not know that they do have rights and they can get their credit report corrected.

There is hope and normally you can correct your situation without too much difficulty.

The first step is to pull your credit reports so you know if you are a victim of identity theft.

Unless you pull your reports, you won’t know there is a problem.  And you certainly won’t know what the problem is — so pull your reports.

The second step is to figure out what’s inaccurate on your credit report.

This includes not only active accounts but also accounts that have been closed.

It also includes accounts that may have been settled by the identity thief.

It also includes addresses and phone numbers and any other information that is not accurate.

Often we will see identity thieves setting up false mailing addresses.

They do this in order to have the billing statement from a bogus credit card go to a post office so that you will not know about the theft.

I wish I had an easier way but you just literally have to go through each report line by line to find everything that is false.

The third step is to get a police report that lists every false account.

If you only have one or two false accounts, then you may can put this into the police report itself.

The easiest way to put multiple false accounts in a police report is to have an already typed up sheet listing the inaccurate information.

Then you take that with you so that the police officer can simply reference that and staple it to the back of the police report.

After you obtain the police report then you can fill out an Identity Theft Fraud Affidavit which is provided by the government.

The next step is to then dispute with the credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union) what is on your credit reports.

You can do this by sending a certified letter, return receipt requested.

This letter will list out all the accounts and includes the police report and the identity theft affidavit.

We recommend that this be sent also to the furnishers of information.  These are the debt collectors and the creditors that have furnished or provided this information to the credit bureaus.

You will receive the results of investigation normally in about 30 to 45 days.

These will be letters and/or credit reports from the credit bureaus telling you either the bogus accounts are going to be removed or they will stay on your credit reports.

If the bogus accounts and information stays on your reports, then you need to either dispute again.

Or sue for money damages.

Normally the fastest and surest way to fix this is to sue for money damages.

We take these cases and pay the expenses.

We only get paid out of any settlement, so the entire lawsuit is at no out of pocket expense to you.

Contact Us.

If you live in Alabama, please feel free to pick up the phone and call us at 205-879-2447.

You can also contact us through our online contact form on our website.

Best wishes and I look forward to talking with you!

John Watts

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