Identity (ID) theft is a crime where a thief steals your personal information, such as your name or Social Security number, to commit fraud. The identity thief can use your information to fraudulently apply for credit, file taxes, or get medical services. These acts can damage your credit status, and cost you time and money to restore your good name. You may not know that you are the victim of ID theft until you experience a financial consequence (mystery bills, credit collections, (denied loans) down the road from actions that the thief has taken with your stolen identity.
What to do if you are a victim of identity theft.
If you are a resident of the City of Livonia, file a police report at the Livonia Police Department. For questions and to speak to a Police Officer, call our non-emergency line at 734-466-2470.
Report identity (ID) theft to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) online at https://www.identitytheft.gov/ or by phone at 1-877-438-4338.
Credit Reporting Agencies – Contact one of the three major credit reporting agencies to place fraud alerts or freezes on your accounts so that no one can apply for credit with your name or social security number. Also get copies of your credit reports, to be sure that no one has already tried to get unauthorized credit accounts with your personal information. Confirm that the credit reporting agency will alert the other two credit reporting agencies.
- Experian 888-397-3742
- Equifax 800-525-6285
- Trans Union 800-680-7289
Financial Institutions – Contact the fraud department at your bank, credit card issuers and any other places where you have accounts. Request them to cancel your credit cards and get them reissued.
Retailers and Other Companies – Report the crime to companies where the identity thief opened credit accounts or even applied for jobs.
How to prevent Identity Theft
- Secure your Social Security number (SSN). Don’t carry your Social Security card in your wallet or write your number on your checks. Only give out your SSN when absolutely necessary.
- Don’t respond to unsolicited requests for personal information (your name, birthdate, Social Security number, or bank account number) by phone, mail, or online.
- Contact the three credit reporting agencies to request a freeze of your credit reports. They will do this for 90 days if you request it and longer if you’re a victim of Identity Theft.
- Collect mail promptly. Place a hold on your mail when you are away from home for several days.
- Pay attention to your billing cycles. If bills or financial statements are late, contact the sender.
- Enable the security features on mobile devices, especially if you have contacts, banking websites and applications saved.