What should be done if an individual has been a victim of identity theft?
- File an identity theft report with local police and get copies to file with insurance companies;
- File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.identitytheft.gov or the FTC Identity Theft Hotline at 1-877-438-4338 or TTY 1-866-653-4261;
- Contact one of the three major credit bureaus to place a ‘fraud alert’ on your credit records:
- Equifax, www.Equifax.com, 1-800-525-6285
- Experian, www.Experian.com, 1-888-397-3742
- TransUnion, www.TransUnion.com, 1-800-680-7289
- Contact your financial institutions, and close any accounts opened without your permission or tampered with;
- Check your Social Security Administration earnings statement annually. You can create an account online at www.ssa.gov;
- The taxpayer or professional should immediately contact the IRS at the Identity Protection Specialized Unit, toll-free at 1-800-908-4490. You will need to fill out the IRS Identity Theft Affidavit, Form 14039. Taxpayers caught in this mess are forced to prove their identity to the IRS. Some cases have taken up to 18 months to resolve.
Information courtesy of TaxSpeaker/Jennings Advisory Group.