If your wallet or purse has been stolen or you've been the victim of any kind of identity theft, your first task is to report the crime to the police. Also provide the same information to consumer reporting agencies. By doing these action, you can stop any false information from being included in your credit report and stop the illegal use of your identity. It will also be required as proof to institutions such as banks that your information was taken and they can help restart your financial recovery sooner.
What a Police Report Should Contain
A police report is probably the most important document needed when repairing your credit and finances. Filing this report shows your creditors that you were wronged and didn't just lose your information.
You will have to provide specific information to the police, including:
- Specific dates relating to the identity theft, such as when the loss or theft of personal information happened or when the fraud using your personal information started, and how you discovered the theft
- Where the theft occurred, especially if was a purse snatcher or stolen wallet
- Information about the identity of the possible suspect
- Names of creditors to consumer reporting agencies, account numbers or relevant account information related to the identity theft
- Any other information which you know about the identity theft
Identity Theft Report
You should provide the same information that you gave the police to consumer reporting agencies and to furnishers of information to the agencies in what is known as an "identity theft report." Filing this report is part of a process of asking credit agencies and furnishers of information to take actions to help you find out if someone else has been using your accounts, and to stop further illegal activity. These actions include creating a fraud alert or a credit freeze on your credit files so that someone else cannot run up bills in your name, open an account in your name, or otherwise damage your credit rating.
An identity theft report:
- Alleges an incident of identity theft with as much detail as possible.
- Is an official, valid report filed by a consumer with an appropriate federal, state, or local law enforcement agency.
- Includes information which was not required by the police but is required by the furnisher of information (ex. creditor) or the consumer reporting agency. For example, the consumer's date of birth or Social Security number, but the furnisher or the agency might ask for that information if it is needed to process the consumer's requests.
Question for Your Attorney
- Can I file a police report at anytime or do I have to do it at a police station?
- Should I file the Identity theft report at the same time as the police report?