ITRC Solution 9
Many people find out they are victims of identity theft when they try to open an account. It often comes as a shock. This is one reason we encourage using the annual credit reports system to monitor your credit throughout the year.
If you are refused a new line of credit because you are a victim of identity theft, we recommend the following steps:
- Contact all three major credit reporting agencies to place a fraud alert on your credit reports. (Refer to ITRC Solution SN 03) You will want to obtain your complimentary copies of all three credit reports.
- Go through the reports and highlight all fraudulent accounts, and incorrect information. (See ITRC Fact Sheet FS 128 – How to Read your Credit Report.)
- Contact your local law enforcement to file a police report stating you are a victim of identity theft. Take your highlighted credit reports as evidence. You will need to obtain a copy of this police report to clear any fraudulent activity.
- Contact all the companies where fraudulent accounts have been opened, any collection agencies that are involved, as well as any company with a pending application. Please refer to ITRC Solution SN 01 – Clearing Fraudulent New Account and ITRC Solution SN 04 – Clearing Name with Collection Agencies. Please speak with the fraud department, not the customer service department.
- Ask the fraud department what is required to clear you from this account and to remove it off of your credit reports. (Please refer to ITRC Letter Form LF 100-1 or ITRC Letter Form LF 116) Let them know that you have a police report that you can send to them. Once the company has found it to be a fraudulent account, they must remove it from your credit reports.
ITRC Fact Sheet FS 100 – Financial Identity Theft: The Beginning Steps
ITRC Fact Sheet FS 106 – Organizing your Case
ITRC Fact Sheet FS 116 – Collection Agencies and Identity Theft
ITRC Solution SN 03 – Contacting the CRA’s to place a Fraud Alert
ITRC Solution SN 10 – Filing a Police Report
This fact sheet should not be used in lieu of legal advice. Any requests to reproduce this material, other than by individual victims for their own use, should be directed to email@example.com.