Steps to take if your identity was stolen | My Credit Lawyers of America

Steps to take if your identity was stolen | My Credit Lawyers of America


Hi, I’m Gary Nitzkin. I’m attorney here with Credit Lawyers of America. In this short video, I like to discuss what
you should do if you discover that your identity has been stolen. Identity theft is the fastest growing crime
in America. And it shows no signs of slowing down. Just last week, I fielded an email from someone
who wanted to know how much trouble he’ll be in after snapping a picture of his friend’s
credit card. It’s unbelievable. He didn’t realize it, but he was an identity
thief. And he stole a friend’s credit card. With today’s technology, identity theft is
not showing any signs of slowing down. The first thing you need to do if you discover
you identity has been stolen, is to get a copy of all 3 of your credit reports. You can get a copy from each of the credit
bureaus by telling them that you are a victim from identity theft. If the credit bureaus give you a hard time
giving you a credit report, you can always go to www.annualcreditreport.com, and they’ll
get you a free credit report. You get one free pull from those credit reports
once year from that website. After you get your credit reports, you got
to look them. There are five major sections on each credit
report. Let’s talk about them. The first one is the header information. This contains information about you, that’s
personal, such as your name, your address, any variations of your names that you’ve used,
sometimes even nicknames. Look at this data! Make sure that all the information on there
belongs to you. Make sure that is accurate. If any of it is inaccurate, circle it. Literally take a pencil and circle it. The next section are collection items. Make sure that if there are collection items
on your credit report that they belong to you. The next section is public records. Public records include things just as judgments,
liens, and bankruptcies. Now, understand that because there is a public
record doesn’t mean that it belongs to you. And even if it does belongs to you, doesn’t
mean it’s accurate. Take a very close look at this items and if
anything on does not belong to you or it’s inaccurate, circle it. The forth section is really important. It’s call the tradeline section. This is what creditors are telling each other
about their experiences with you and how you handle credit. Make sure that every tradeline on there does
belong to you, and if it doesn’t, that’s right, circle it. Now just because there is a tradeline on your
credit report, doesn’t necessarily mean that is accurate. Take a look at it. If there are late payments on there, it confirms
that they’re accurate because sometimes lenders report payments way later then when they receive
the actual payment. And that’s not your fault, that’s theirs. And, finally, the last section on your credit
report is called credit pulls. That sections list everyone and every company
that pulled your credit report. Look at that closely because an identity thief
may have very well tried to option credit in places that you’re unfamiliar with. So, if you not familiar with each and every
one of those credit pulls, circle them. We have to dispute them. That was the easy part. Now, comes that hard part. Getting the police report. Why is getting a police report so difficult? Well, there’s two reasons. First, police officers typically don’t like
to take police reports on identity theft. They’re crimes are not that sexy. They sometimes feel like it’s a waste of their
time. Now mind, this isn’t all police officers. I respect and love our police department,
but if you have a hard time getting a police report, be insistent. Make sure that they give you a police report,
because without one you’ll going to have a very difficult time getting your credit report
clean up. The second reason why it’s difficult sometimes
to get a police report is that a lot of identity theft involves one family member stealing
the identity of another. And victims typically don’t like to prosecute
their family members. Go figure. Like I said earlier, with out a police report
it’s going to be very difficult for you to clean up your credit. Once you have your police report and your
credit reports, circled with the inaccuracies, put them together. And on top of it, you got to write what’s
called a dispute letter. Now, this dispute letter has to go to each
credit bureau, not the lenders, but the credit bureaus, that are reporting this inaccurate
information about you. So, look at your experian report, take a copy
of you experian report with the circles, a copy of the police report, and put it a dispute
letter on top of it addressed to experian. Now, be very careful on what you put on that
dispute letter. Identify yourself very, very clearly. Put your name, your address, social security
number, and for bonus points, I’ll put a copy of my drivers licenses and social security
card. And with that information, they will know
that you are who you say you are. Then in the body of the letter describe each
item on your credit report that’s inaccurate. Be very detailed and very particular, and
sign that letter. If you have computer-generated signature,
this isn’t the time to use it. Use your handwriting and sign it. Do the same thin with ecofax and trans union. Each of the credit bureaus has 30 days to
investigate you and they are going to contact the lenders as well. Some on this information that doesn’t belong
to you may come off your credit report, but I can tell you from my experience, a lot of
it won’t. A lot of lender are rather insistent that
the debt belongs to the consumer, and consumer is probably lying about the fact their identity
has been stolen. This is where we come in. We’ll draft that letter for you, and we’ll
do it for free. We’ll even file the law suit on your behalf,
for free. We get the lenders and the credit bureaus
to pay our fees and costs. We can clean up your credit and it won’t cost
you a dime. If you have any questions, call or email me. Gary Nitskin at Credit Report Lawyers of America. Thank you for watching.

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