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Credit Report and Score<br>Related Legal Information  

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Identity theft - If You’re a Victim.

Sometimes an identity thief can strike even if you’ve been very careful about keeping your personal information to yourself. If you suspect that your personal information has been hijacked and misappropriated to commit fraud or theft, take action immediately, and keep a record of your conversations and correspondence. You may want to use the form, “Chart Your Course of Action,” below. Exactly which steps you should take to protect yourself depends on your circumstances and how your identity has been misused. However, four basic actions are appropriate in almost every case.
Your First Four Steps: 1. Place a fraud alert on your Credit Reports and review your Credit Reports.
Call the toll-free fraud number of any one of the three major Credit bureaus to place a fraud alert on your Credit Report. This can help prevent an identity thief from opening additional accounts in your name. As soon as the Credit bureau confirms your fraud alert, the other two Credit bureaus will automatically be notified to place fraud alerts on your Credit Report, and all three reports will be sent to you free of charge.
Once you receive your reports, review them carefully. Look for inquiries you didn’t initiate, accounts you didn’t open, and unexplained debts on your true accounts. Where “inquiries” appear from the company(ies) that opened the fraudulent account(s), request that these “inquiries” be removed from your report. (See “Credit Reports” for more information.) You also should check that information such as your SSN, address(es), name or initial, and employers are correct. Inaccuracies in this information also may be due to typographical errors. Nevertheless, whether the inaccuracies are due to fraud or error, you should notify the Credit bureau as soon as possible by telephone and in writing. You should continue to check your reports periodically, especially in the first year after you’ve discovered the theft, to make sure no new fraudulent activity has occurred. The automated “one-call” fraud alert process only works for the initial placement of your fraud alert. Orders for additional Credit Reports or renewals of your fraud alerts must be made separately at each of the three major Credit bureaus.
2. Close any accounts that have been tampered with or opened fraudulently. Credit accounts include all accounts with banks, credit card companies and other lenders, and phone companies, utilities, ISPs, and other service providers. If you’re closing existing accounts and opening new ones, use new Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) and passwords. If there are fraudulent charges or debits, ask the company about the following forms for disputing those transactions:
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Identity Theft: Are You Already A Victim?

Identity thieves impersonate their victims to steal from bank accounts, establish phony insurance policies, open unauthorized credit cards or obtain bank loans and mortgages. Victims are often left with lower credit scores and difficulty getting credit ...
Identity Theft: Are You Already A Victim?

What to Do If Your Financial Information Is Stolen
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