The Federal Trade Commission defines identity theft as a serious crime. Identity theft happens when someone uses information about you without your permission. They could use your:
- name and address
- credit card or bank account numbers
- Social Security number
- medical insurance account numbers
- You see withdrawals from your bank account that you can’t explain.
- You don’t get your bills or other mail.
- Merchants refuse your checks.
- Debt collectors call you about debts that aren’t yours.
- You find unfamiliar accounts or charges on your credit report.
- Medical providers bill you for services you didn’t use.
- Your health plan rejects your legitimate medical claim because the records show you’ve reached your benefits limit.
- A health plan won’t cover you because your medical records show a condition you don’t have.
- The IRS notifies you that more than one tax return was filed in your name, or that you have income from an employer you don’t work for.
- You get notice that your information was compromised by a data breach at a company where you do business or have an account.
For more Identity Theft information from the Federal Trade Commission visit their website at www.ftc.gov/idtheft
What to do:
According to the Virginia Attorney General, this is what you should do if you believe you are a victim of identity theft:
- Notify your bank or credit union, credit card company, and one of the three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian or Trans Union) to notify them that you are a victim of an identity crime.
- Contact your local police or sheriff’s department and file a criminal complaint.
- If you fall victim to identity theft while using the Internet, you should file a report with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).
- Request an Identity Theft Passport from the Office of the Attorney General.
The Identity Theft Passport is a card that you can carry and present to law enforcement or other individuals who may challenge you about your identity should you become the victim of identity crime. You may download a PDF version of the application for an Identity Theft Passport. You can then print, complete, sign and mail to the Office of the Attorney General OR you may write to their office for an application for an Identity Theft Passport:
Office of the Attorney General
Victim Notification Program
202 North Ninth Street
Richmond, VA 23219
All applications must be submitted in person or by mail and will be acted upon promptly.
For more information on Identity Theft from the Virginia Attorney General’s Office visit www.oag.state.va.us/programs-initiatives/identity-theft