Prevent Identity Theft
Identity theft involves any instance where a person uses someone else’s identification documents or other identifiers in order to impersonate that person for whatever reason.
Per California Penal Code 530.6, if an individual has learned or suspects that his or her personal identifying information has been unlawfully used by another, they should contact the Orange County Sheriff’s Department or their local law enforcement agency to document the crime for further investigation.
If you are a victim of identity theft, consider freezing your credit. A credit freeze is a great way to protect yourself against identity theft and it will assist in stopping new credit from being established fraudulently. Effective September 21, 2018, a new Federal Law allows individuals to place free credit freezes and a year-long fraud alert with the three major credit agencies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
Check Your Credit Report
Consumers can go to www.annualcreditreport.com where they can request their reports online. If you do not wish to complete the online form, you can call the toll-free number, (877) 322-8228, or mail a request to Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.
It will take about 15 days to process phone and mail requests. If you use the online request site, you will be asked for personal information so the credit agencies can match them accurately with their reports. This will include your name, date of birth, address and other personal information that only you should know.
What Do I Look For When I Get The Report?
- Accounts that are not yours.
- Any delinquencies that are still on the report after the seven-year time limit has passed.
- Notices of late payments.
- Multiple collection-agency notices for a single debt.
What should I do if I have a discrepancy?
Place a fraud alert on your credit report by contacting one of the three credit bureaus. That company must tell the other two credit bureaus.
Experian: 888.397.3742 or experian.com
TransUnion: 800.680.7289 or transunion.com
Equifax: 888.766.0008 or equifax.com
Additional information and resources for victims of identity theft can be found in the pamphlet below.