Financial Planning for Generation X & Y Women
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Expert Q&A Archive

How do you prove that you’re a victim of identity theft?
How do you prove that you’re a victim of identity theft?
Bettye J. Banks:
expert info »
First and foremost keep track of your personal financial information. Know who you owe and how much you owe.
For any credit relationship that you believe you neither initiated nor authorized, take the following steps.
(1) Require verification that any and all signatures on any and all transactions were yours.
(2) Require verification of any and all signatures for any application for credit.
(3) Demand a copy of all transactions in question. (You may recognize the handwriting of someone.) Put the impetus of proof on them, not yourself.
(4) Verify your whereabouts at the time of any questionable transactions, if possible. You might not remember all, but if a transaction was made on Wednesday night at 8 o'clock, and you were at church Wednesday night at 8:00, you have proof it could not have been you.
(5) You have a record of behavior. Most credit grantors track your spending habits. Any anomaly (anything out of the ordinary) should generate a call to you from your creditors.
(6) Be pro-active. Check your credit regularly, or sign up for a credit monitoring service who will contact you if any new transactions take place. You can stop the bad guys cold!
(7) Many fraudulent credit transactions happen because a friend or loved one uses your credit without your permission. Be prepared to press charges!
Jody Rorick, CPA:
expert info »
You should contact the fraud department of one of the major credit bureaus to place a fraud alert on your accounts. Whichever one you choose will contact the other two. You report the fraud to all the companies where you think fraud occurred. This should be in writing. You notify your local police and make a police report. You should complete an ID theft affidavit and include this with your police report when you notify your credit card companies.