What to Do If You’re Already a Victim of Financial Fraud

The only good news about the rise in identity theft is that there are now more resources than ever before to help victims. You still need to guard yourself for battle with credit bureaus, creditors, and even collection agencies, but you’re not out there alone.

The Federal Trade Commission has extensive information for ID theft victims at www.consumer.gov/idtheft, or you can call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) to get free information. You also can find helpful resources at the Identity Theft Resource Center (www.idtheftcenter.org or 1-858-693-7935) and the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (www.privacyrights.org or 1-619-298-3396), among other locations.

Some financial institutions are remarkably responsive to identity theft victims, whereas others presume that anyone reporting ID theft is a liar until proven otherwise. Either way, you’ll want to be assertive, persistent, and relentless in your efforts to clear your name. The Privacy Rights Clearing-house, the California Public Interest Research Group, and the Identity Theft Resource Center suggest that you take the steps outlined in the next sections.



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