If you have been a victim of identity theft, follow these tips provided by the United States Postal Inspection Service.
- Report the crime to your local police department immediately. Obtain a case number.
- Immediately call all your creditors. Request replacement credit cards with new account numbers. Ask that your old accounts are flagged with a “fraud alert” notice.
- Call the fraud units of the three credit reporting companies – Experian (formerly TRW), Equifax, and Trans Union. Report the theft of your credit cards/identity. Ask that your accounts be flagged with “Fraud Alert/Victim Impact,” and that creditors call you before any one attempts to open future new accounts using your name and social security number.
- Notify your banks(s) of the theft. Cancel your old account and obtain new bank accounts. If you use an ATM card for banking services, request a new card and password/pin number. Memorize your password/pin number and do not record this information on any property contained in your wallet.
- To prove your innocence, you may be required to fill out fraud affidavits with banks and credit issuers. Maintain photocopies for your records and for law enforcement use.
- If you have had checks stolen or bank accounts set up fraudulently, report it to TeleCheck, National Processing Company, or Equifax.
- Notify your local Postal Inspector (651-293-3200), if you suspect mail theft, and request a Mail Theft/Vandalism Complaint Form, PS 2016.
- Keep a log of all your contacts and make copies of all documents.
- Contact the state office of the Department of Motor Vehicles to see if another license was issued in your name. If so, request a new license number and complete a DMV complaint form. For additional information, visit the U.S. Postal Inspection Service website at www.usps.gov/postalinspectors
PO Box 105873
Atlanta, GA 30348-5873
- Report fraud: Call 1.800.525.6285 and write to address above
- Order credit report: 1.800.997.2493 and write to address above
- Opt out of pre-approved offers of credit: 1.800.556.4711
Experian (formerly TRW)
PO Box 949
Allen, TX 75013-0949
- Report fraud: Call 1.888.397.3742 and write to address above
- Order credit report: 1.888.397.3742
- Opt out of pre-approved offers of credit and marketing lists: 1.800.353.0809
PO Box 390
Springfield, PA 19064-0390
- Report fraud: 1.800.680.7289
- Order credit report: 1.800.916.8800
- Opt out of pre-approved offers of credit and marketing lists: 1.800.680.7293
Who to Contact
- 1.877.IDTHEFT (438.4338)
- Ensure you file a complaint with the FTC
MN State Attorney General’s Office–Consumer Division
- Fraud hotline: 1.800.269.0271
- Order your Earnings and Benefit Statement: 1.800.722.1213
To remove your name from mail and phone lists, write to:
Direct Marketing Association
Mail Preference Service
PO Box 9008
Farmingdale, NY, 11735
Telephone Preference Service
PO Box 9014
Farmingdale, NY 11735
1.888.5.OPTOUT (567.8688) to remove name from pre-approved credit card solicitations
To report fraudulent use of your checks, call:
- CheckRite: 1.800.766.2748
- Chexsystems: 1.800.428.9623
- Equifax: 1.800.437.5120
- National Processing Co.: 1.800.526.5380
- Scan: 1.800.262.7771
- Telecheck: 1.800.710.9898
Financial transaction credit card fraud prevention
In financial transaction credit card fraud, purchases are made over the phone using a stolen credit card number; in a majority of the cases the account number has been stolen but the actual account holder still possesses their card. The merchandise is picked up at a later date or a courier is sent to pick up the merchandise.
Businesses that take orders over the phone are asked to be suspicious of these types of transactions. If this is a normal activity for your business, add further measures to protect yourself from a fraudulent order and prevent future incidents of this crime. These cases are difficult for police to prosecute because it is challenging to prove who provided the fraudulent credit card number since it is given over the phone. In some cases it takes several weeks for the business to be notified that the transaction was fraudulent.
Some tips are:
- Always ask for ID from the person picking up the merchandise.
- Ask to see the actual credit card that was used to make the purchase, make sure the numbers are the same and that the card holder is valid.
- Process the transaction just as you normally would before the merchandise leaves the store.
- When taking the phone order ask for the callers name, address and phone number, ask this information again when the merchandise is picked up to validate the order.
- The Minnetonka Police Department encourages businesses to become members of the Minnesota Crime Alert Network. The network allows member businesses to receive fax alerts from law enforcement notifying you of crimes trends that may affect your business. For an application contact Nicole Nelson at the Minnetonka Police Department at 952.939.8546.