Identity theft can happen to anyone, and it’s no fun when it does happen. It can destroy your credit and cost you time and money.
Thieves can steal your identity using a number of different techniques, including the following:
Place a "Fraud Alert" on your credit reports. Placing a fraud alert entitles you to free copies of your credit reports. Review them carefully for any inaccurate information, including inquiries from companies you haven ’t contacted, accounts you didn’t open and debts that you can’t explain.
The alert tells creditors to follow certain procedures before they open new accounts in your name or make changes to your existing accounts. The three nationwide consumer reporting agencies have toll-free numbers for placing an initial 90-day fraud alert. A call to one company is sufficient:
Close any accounts that are fraudulent or have been affected.
File a police report as this will help you with creditors who may want proof of the crime.
Report the theft to the Federal Trade Commission. Your report helps law enforcement officials across the country in their investigations.
If someone steals your identity to take out a student loan, it can be very difficult to discharge that loan. Regulations are very strict regarding the discharge of loans, so there are rules regarding identity theft that are outlined below under a "False Certification" discharge:
Eligibility for Discharge. An individual qualifies for loan discharge if the individual does all of the following:
There may be other documentation requested or required.