- Request free credit reports from all three major credit reporting agencies. She can do this at AnnualCreditReport.com. (She'll be entitled to additional free reports during the year if she has been denied credit because of the fraud.)
- Download the Federal Trade Commission's free identity theft affidavit. It's a straightforward form that will streamline the rest of the reporting process. Account information from your mother's credit report will help complete this step.
- File a police report. Without law enforcement verification, a creditor or collections agency might assume that your mother is claiming identity theft just to get out of paying a bad credit card debt. In most places, submitting a copy of the FTC's affidavit replaces a lengthy interview or additional paperwork.
- Use each credit bureau's online tool to file an initial dispute. This is the fastest and most reliable way to notify the credit reporting agencies about identity theft. Flag the complaint appropriately, so her case doesn't get misclassified as a collectable debt. Include the police report number in your complaint.
- Submit your affidavit directly to creditors. Don't wait for credit reporting agencies to complete their own investigations. Send a brief cover letter, like the one suggested by consumer advocates at NEDAP.org.
Six Years Ago, Someone Opened A Gas Card Under My Mother's Name. Is There Any Way To Fix The Damage To Her Credit Report?
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