Boston Realtor Mike Mahoney
Michael Mahoney
617-615-9435617-615-9435

Identity Theft – A Guide for Victims

Identity theft: A guide for Victims

Protect Your Identity

  • Do not discuss your personal information with banks or creditors in public places, such as at work.
  • Shred all documents you intend to throw away that have your name, address, social security, or account information.
  • Be wary of telephone or internet solicitations – if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Do not deal with organizations you do not know. Check the reputability of a company with the Better Business Bureau.
  • Maintain records of your banking and financial accounts.
  • Consider where you use your credit and debit cards.
  • Use different passwords for your online banking and credit card.

Report Identity Theft

  • Contact all creditors with whom your name or identifying data have been fraudulently used to dispute fraudulent charges and close those accounts.
  • Request your creditor’s fraud dispute forms, and provide copies of supporting documents. Request return receipts, which you should keep for your records.
  • Place a fraud alert on your credit reports, which will prevent any more accounts being opened in your name. You can call any of the three credit bureaus to do this. Once fraud has been reported, all three reports should be sent to you free of charge.

Experian 1-888-397-3742
Equifax 1-800-525-6285
Trans Union 1-800-680-7289

  • Review all three credit reports for discrepancies and newly opened accounts. Any fraudulent activity needs to be disputed.
  • File a complaint with the FTC by phone, at 1-877-438-4338 or on their website: https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/ The FTC can refer victims’ complaints to other government agencies and companies for further action, as well as investigate companies for violations of laws the agency enforces.
  • Review all three credit reports for discrepancies and newly opened accounts. Any fraudulent activity needs to be disputed.
  • File a complaint with the FTC by phone, at 1-877-438-4338 or on their website: https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/ The FTC can refer victims’ complaints to other government agencies and companies for further action, as well as investigate companies for violations of laws the agency enforces.
  • Contact the FTC Social Security Administration at 1-800-269-0271, so that a fraud alert can be placed on your social security number.
  • File a report with the police department.
  • Be sure to keep a copy of the police report. Some credit card companies require proof of a police report to verify the crime occurred.

Addressing Specific Issues

Stolen Checks

Stop payment on all outstanding checks that you are unsure of. Cancel your checking and savings accounts and open new accounts with new account numbers. Report any stolen checks to the check verification companies.

ATM Cards

If your ATM card has been stolen, report it immediately. Get a new card and a new account number. When you receive the new card, be sure to use a new password that is difficult to guess.

Driver’s License Number

If someone is using your driver’s license number on bad checks, you may have to change your driver’s license number. You must call the Department of Motor Vehicles to see if another license was issued in your name. You must also fill out the DMV complaint form to begin the fraud investigation process. Send the complaint form and all supporting documents to your local DMV investigation office.

 

Fraudulent Change of Address

Notify the local Postal Inspector if you suspect an identity thief has filed a change of your address with the post office or has used the mail to commit credit or bank fraud. Find out where fraudulent credit cards were sent. Notify the local postmaster for that address to forward all mail in your name to your own address.

 

Phone Service

If your long distance calling card has been stolen or you discover fraudulent charges on your bill, cancel the account and open a new account. Change your password, and do not use a password that is easy to figure out such as your date of birth or your social security number.

Should you have additional questions feel free to contact Steven Burman at Credit Advisers LLC  Have questions answered directly by calling 781-400-9838 or e-mailing sburman@credit-advisers.com

 

 

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5suzannechapman1208

I selected Mike after having a very unsuccessful experience with a previous broker. He had excellent ideas in helping to sell my house and continued to advertise it with a fresh perspective. His experience helped in a number of ways and I only wish we had... (more)

5goodlife99

This is the second property I have sold in Weymouth MA with Mike as my broker. He research the area and give you all the information you need to decide what to list your property for, so it sells timely. He also helps review and negotiate all offers and is... (more)

5SullyLemmons

We had been trying to sell our condo for well over a year and decided to give Mike a shot at it as he came well recommended. It was not easy for him but he persisted and had success. Even though it wasn't a big sale or profit for him, he acted as though it... (more)

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