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Your IDs Been Stolen, Now What?

Step 1: Protect your finances

Contact Home State Bank & Trust Co. and any other financial institutions with which you do business immediately if you suspect your identity has been stolen. Home State Bank & Trust Co. can be reached at 620-241-3732.

Contact the fraud departments of each of the three major credit bureaus. Get a copy of your credit report, which is free to ID theft victims. Ask that your file be flagged with a "fraud alert tag" and a "victim's statement." That will limit the thief's ability to open new credit accounts, as new creditors will call you before granting credit, generally. Insist, in writing, that the fraud alert remain in place for seven years, the maximum, according to PrivacyRights.org.

Credit bureaus:

  • Equifax - 1-800-525-6285
  • Experian - 1-888-397-3742
  • TransUnion - 1-800-680-7289

Step 2: File a police report

You will need a police report to dispute unauthorized charges and for any insurance claims. Be persistent; your local police department may suggest that this isn't necessary, because they don't want the paperwork hassle. Also, fill out an online ID Theft complaint with the Federal Trade Commission or call 1-877-ID-THEFT. That enters your case in the FTC's "Consumer Sentinel" database, a nationwide list of ID theft cases which can be used by law enforcement officers to find patterns and catch criminals.

Step 3: Close all compromised accounts

The list may be wider than you realize. This includes accounts with banks, credit card companies and other lenders, and phone companies, utilities, ISPs, and other service providers. Dispute all unauthorized charges. Disputes may require a sworn statement and a police report.

VICTIMS' RESOURCES

Department of Justice's Web Resources on Identity Theft and Identity Fraud
www.usdoj.gov/criminal/fraud/idtheft.html

Federal Trade Commission's ID Theft Clearinghouse
www.ftc.gov/idtheft/

More detailed 17-step plan to follow if your ID is stolen
www.privacyrights.org/identity.htm

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