The Information below is published on the Web
site of the U.S. Secret Service.
What to do if you have been the victim of credit card fraud or identity
If your complaint is essentially a
non-criminal dispute with a retailer or other business, you must
immediately dispute the charge(s) in writing with the customer
relations office of your credit card company.
If you have been the victim of credit
card fraud or identity theft, the following tips will assist you:
Report the crime to the police
immediately. Get a copy of your police report or case number.
Credit card companies, your bank, and the insurance company may
ask you to reference the report to verify the crime.
Immediately contact your credit card
issuers. Get replacement cards with new account numbers and ask
that the old account be processed as "account closed at
consumerís request" for credit record purposes. You
should also follow up this telephone conversation with a letter
to the credit card company that summarizes your request in
Call the fraud units of the three
credit reporting bureaus. Report the theft of your credit cards
and/or numbers. Ask that your accounts be flagged. Also, add a
victimís statement to your report that requests that they
contact you to verify future credit applications. The following
is a list of addresses and numbers to the three credit bureaus:
Equifax Credit Information
Services - Consumer Fraud Div.
P.O. Box 105496
Atlanta, Georgia 30348-5496
Tel: (800) 997-2493
P.O. Box 2104
Allen, Texas 75013-2104
Tel: (888) EXPERIAN (397-3742)
Trans Union Fraud Victim
P.O. Box 390
Springfield, PA 19064-0390
Tel: (800) 680-7289
Keep a log of all conversations with
authorities and financial entities.
As with any personal information,
only provide your credit card number to merchants you know.
Also, remember to protect your social security number. You have
to give your social security number for employment and tax
purposes, but it is not necessary for many businesses. Notify
the Social Security Administrationís Office of Inspector
General if your social security number has been used
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
is the federal clearinghouse for complaints by victims of
identity theft. Although the FTC does not have the authority to
bring criminal cases, the Commission assists victims of identity
theft by providing them with information to help them resolve
the financial and other problems that can result from identity
theft. The FTC also may refer victim complaints to other
appropriate government agencies and private organizations for
further action. If you have been a victim of identity theft, you
can file a complaint with the FTC by contacting the FTC's
Consumer Response Center.