Identity Theft Emergency - Sympatico / MSN Finance: "Identity Theft Emergency
How to stop identity theft in 30 minutes
Your credit card bill just arrived in the mail and you notice a $500 charge for a lawnmower. But you live in an apartment, don't have a lawn and certainly did not purchase this item. You start to realize that this could be identity theft. Quick! What do you do next?
Your first 10 minutes should be used to call the creditor to notify them of the fraud, reverse the fraudulent charges and lock the account. Go over all the current and pending charges on this account with the creditor to see if there are any other fraudulent purchases that need to be reversed. Request new credit cards along with an official written notification to keep for your records.
Your next 10 minutes should be spent calling the credit bureaus to have fraud warnings placed on your credit profiles. TransUnion and Equifax can also help you look for other signs of identity theft on your credit files and restore accuracy. A fraud victim statement will remain on your credit profile for 5 years and can be removed earlier by request. This statement warns creditors that you have been a victim of identity theft and requests that they confirm your identity before granting new credit.
Your last 10 minutes should be spent contacting PhoneBusters (www.phonebusters.com) to report your fraud incident and fill out an Identity Theft Statement. If the identity theft situation goes beyond basic credit card fraud, you should also contact your local law enforcement agency to file a police report. Keep copies of all your identity theft documents along with a log of your communications in a safe place. If your identity theft situation continues, you may need these documents to prove your case.
How quickly you spot and report identity theft can"