Source Alt Text: A policeman in full uniform turns his head
When someone steals your identity, they can destroy your credit, take money from your bank, make unnecessary purchases, and register for unknown accounts. With the potential to create both long and short-term financial damage, it’s essential to report suspected identity theft to the police before it escalates.
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), there are some cases where you don’t have to report the identity theft to the authorities. At Soft Pull Credit, we understand that identity theft can be stressful. Fortunately, we can provide you with the right guidance to get you on the right track.
When to report identity theft?
When it comes to reporting identity theft, the FTC suggests you consider going to the authorities for the following situations:
1. You know who stole your identity and other information that could assist in the police investigation.
2. The thief has used your identity in an encounter with authority. For example, this may involve traffic issues where the thief used your name instead of theirs to avoid paying for a ticket.
3. If you received a call from a debt collector, creditor, or other agency, then it’s vital to report it to the police. This call would indicate that the theft has affected your credit, so it’s best to let the authorities know to prevent it from getting worse.
You can report the problem to IdentityTheft.gov, especially if you have limited information. The FTC can help you with various types of theft and develop a recovery plan.
How Filing A Report Can Benefit You?
If you are a victim, identity theft means that someone has access to your personal information. Reporting theft allows you to take care of the problem promptly.
If you leave identity theft unsolved, the perpetrator may destroy your credit. As a result, it may be difficult to take out a loan or make large purchases (for instance, buying a house or car). They can even make unnecessary purchases or open up other accounts in your name.
Fortunately, when you report identity theft, the officials can provide you with a written report to prove that your identity has been stolen and that you are not responsible for the payments they made. This action will alert the credit agencies to help you and to prevent further damage.
- Your credit score will not be affected
- Your bank account will be aware of the fraudulent activity
- You can avoid criminal penalties
The whole idea of filing a report is to declare your innocence and to start the investigation. The police report can serve as a statement that you are not responsible for the crime or theft.
If someone accuses you of committing a particular crime, you can show the report that you are not involved. Overall, the FTC recommends filing an identity theft report first, then including that information when you submit a police report. Just remember, you are obligated to tell the truth to the best of your ability (even though you may have limited information).
Related: How to Check for Identity Theft?
How To Report ID Theft To The Police
Source Alt-Text: An American business Express Card
If you decided to file a report for identity theft to the authorities, here are the steps that you should take:
First, go to the local police department and report the case. You will have to provide:
- Your government photo ID
- Proof of address like utility bills or mortgage statement
- A copy of the FTC identity theft report
- Proof that you are a victim or IRS report with the IRS notice
- Collection notice, and
- Credit card bill statement.
Then, tell the police that someone has stolen your identity. Ask to attach the FTC report to the police statement. You will need both copies to present to the creditor.
What Are Some Tips for Filing A Police Report?
Filing a police report can be easy, but there are times that the authorities will not prepare your statement because of all the other crimes or unfamiliarity with how to handle these types of cases.
Source Alt Text: An ATM user holds their wallet and takes out money
Luckily, there are some tips to help you with this issue:
1. The first thing is to be calm and firm when you seek a police report. Try to be flexible and fill out any form that the officials bring to you. The police may give you a website to fill out a form instead of taking the information down in person.
2. If the police can’t create a report, then call the attorney general’s office. The state may have a different process in filling out these reports.
3. When it comes to a police report, you want to be as specific as possible. Provide the officials with accurate details such as who might have committed the crime and dates when accounts were opened in your name.
4. After you complete everything, make a copy of the FTC complaint and police report so you can send it to the credit bureau agency to dispute the problem.
Overall, reporting identity theft to the police and FTC official is the most critical step. It could save you a lot of time and prevent the issue from escalating further.
Plus, it serves as evidence that you are not the criminal and an alert that the investigation should start as soon as possible.
Why should I get my credit & identity insured?
You usually get your house and car insured, so why not consider identity insurance? This protection can prevent your identity from getting hacked, breached, and stolen.
In addition to that, getting your identity insured can restore your credit and identity from fraud up to $1 million. It can also repair any wages lost, and reinstate grants, loans, and other lines of credit.
After all, you have worked so hard in building up an excellent credit and reputation. Don’t let identity theft get away with destroying everything that you have built.
Source Alt Text: A Birth certificate
If You get a call from the IRS or credit bureau about unnecessary purchases or crime, then it’s time to file the report and statement with the FTC and the police.
When you obtain a police report, it’s essential to combine that with the FTC statement. That way, you can show the credit agency that you are innocent and a victim of identity theft.
These statements can help prevent further damage and let the investigators know that they need to do something immediately.
Identity theft can be stressful, but with these tips and tricks in filing a police report, it can restore your identity and prevent future theft.