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Identity Theft - ACFE

The consequences of identity theft in a recession feel much worse than those in a booming economy. Unfortunately, it is more likely to happen during a recession as thieves want to keep living the high life. Here are some tips if your identity is stolen:

Keep even more detailed records than before. Write down every purchase so you can keep track of what is yours to compare with your bank records.

File a police report locally and keep a copy of it. Once you have a copy of it, keep it handy for when you talk with your banks, financial companies, and credit agencies. They require you to do that before you contact them.

Consider alerting the Federal Trade Commision and Federal Bureau of Investigation. They might be looking for the person perpetrating fraud against you.

If your cards are stolen, cancel them and get replacements.

Put a stop payment order on any lost or stolen checks.

Keep a close eye on your financial statements (bank or financial or investment companies). Inform them of any unauthorized charges and opened accounts. Many will help you to change the account number or close them down if needed (I personally like Wells Fargo for asking me if some charge seems off).

Alert the three big credit reporting agencies. They need to know that someone has your personal information so it does not ruin your credit score. They will work with you to ensure your credit stays in tact.
-- Equifax -- www.equifax.com or (888) 766-0008
-- Experian -- www.experian.com or (888) 397-3742
-- Trans Union -- www.transunion.com or (800) 680-7289

Inspired by the ACFE article in January 2010 by Andi McNeal CFE, CPA

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