1111 S.W. 2nd Avenue, Portland, OR 97204
What is identity theft?
Identity theft is when someone acquires key pieces of someone’s identity with the intent to commit fraud. Information such as name, date of birth, social security number, mother’s maiden name, etc., can help a criminal impersonate someone else. Once criminals have access to this information they can commit many different kinds of fraud using the victims identity.
(See ORS 165.800 Identity theft).
How to Protect Yourself
Guard personal information. Shred old checks and receipts, bank and credit card statements, credit card applications, credit cards, insurance forms, and any other documents with personal or account information that you are discarding.
Protect your mail. Use a locking mailbox. Deposit payments at the local post office or hand deliver them to a mail carrier.
Never keep an ATM card and the PIN (Personal Identification Number) together. Do not allow anyone to help you enter a PIN or conduct a transaction at an ATM.
Never allow your credit card number to be recorded on a check. Carry only those credit cards that you actually need.
Protect your driver license and social security number.
Review bank and credit card statements carefully each month. Report any suspicious activity on an account immediately. Be aware of when you regularly receive your statements. Contact your bank or credit card company if you statement is not received when expected.
What should I do if I am the victim of identity theft?
If you are the victim of fraud, there are things you can do to minimize the damage now and perhaps, prevent a recurrence later. The guidelines below include several suggestions regarding whom to contact, along with where, why, and how. Act quickly and assertively to minimize the damage. As you have contact with various agencies and institutions, remember to keep a log of all conversations, including dates, names, and telephone numbers. Confirm conversations in writing. Keep copies of all letters and documents.
Be aware of (and make notations of) time and money spent in resolving related problems. A judgment or conviction may allow you to request restitution.
1. Report the crime to your local law enforcement department.
Ask for your case number and keep a record of it. If you are reporting the crime to the Portland Police Bureau, a high priority has been placed by the Records Division to provide a case number within 24 hours of receipt of your report. You may need your police report or case number when you report the fraud to the applicable financial intuitions. In Portland , call the non-emergency line at (503) 823-3333 to make your initial police report.
In addition to filing a police report also report identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission .
2. Contact the fraud departments of any one of the three major credit bureaus.
You needto place a fraud alert on your credit file. The fraud alert requests creditors to contact you before opening any new accounts or making any changes to your existing accounts. As soon as the credit bureau confirms your fraud alert, the other two credit bureaus will be automatically notified to place fraud alerts.
The three major credit bureaus are:
Equifax - www.equifax.com
To order your report, call: 800-685-1111 or write:
P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
To report fraud, call: 800-525-6285 and write:
Hearing impaired call 1-800-255-0056 and ask the operator to call the Auto Disclosure Line at 1-800-685-1111 to request a copy of your report.
Experian - www.experian.com
To order your report, call: 888-EXPERIAN (397-3742) or write:
P.O. Box 2002, Allen TX 75013
To report fraud, call: 888-EXPERIAN (397-3742) and write:
P.O. Box 9530, Allen TX 75013
Trans Union - www.transunion.com
To order your report, call: 800-888-4213 or write:
P.O. Box 1000,Chester, PA 19022
3. Order a copy of your credit report.
Free Credit Reports: Recent changes to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) allow consumers to get a free copy of their credit report annually. Beginning December 1, consumers on the West Coast can take advantage of this offer by going to www.annualcreditreport.com or by calling 877-322-8228.
4. Once you receive your credit report.
Immediately contact all creditors with whom your identity has been fraudulently used, by telephone and mail. Obtain new account numbers for those compromised accounts and ask that the old accounts be processed as “account closed at consumer’s request”. A “lost or stolen” card may be interpreted as blaming you for the loss. Check your mail thoroughly and regularly for any evidence of new fraudulent activity.
For additional information:
(PDF Document, 618kb)
Privacy Rights Clearing House
Oregon Office of the Attorney General
Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services
The Internet Fraud Complaint Center
National Crime Prevention Council
FTC (Federal Trade Commission)
U.S.Postal Service – Consumer Fraud Page
Internet Scam Busters
Stolen social security numbers (e-mail address)
You also can call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 to verify the accuracy of the earnings reported on your social security number, and to request a copy of your social security statement or to get a replacement social security number card if yours is lost or stolen. Follow up in writing.