How To Clean Up Identity Theft

Jim's daughter received some phone calls from collectors based in Los Angeles. Her identity has been stolen. They’ve placed a freeze on her credit. Should they do anything else?

QUESTION: Jim in Los Angeles is calling because his daughter in college received some phone calls from collectors based in Los Angeles. Her identity has been stolen. LifeLock won’t help his daughter, and she is a client. They’ve placed a freeze on her credit. Should they do anything else? Dave explains what else Jim’s daughter needs to do.

ANSWER: I think putting a freeze on all three credit bureaus is good, and then any lead you get, run it down to the death and kill it. I don’t mean death literally. I mean those magazines—run them down and kill them. Each time you hear about another of these, run it down and end the thing immediately.

She needs to get a police report. That will be part of her fraud victim kit from AT&T, I’m sure. Get the police report filed, and put the address and everything that you do know on there. She’s not going to be liable for any of it. It’s just a matter of cleaning it up. The only thing you can do is freeze your credit bureau report and put fraud victim alerts on them to stop mass. But other than that, if the people the thief is getting credit from don’t check the thief’s name and address, then you’ll have some of that.

What you’re going to have to do is each time you hear about an account that’s opened, you have to go to the fraud victim division of that company and say, "The identity was stolen, this is the police report, here’s what’s happening, we’re not paying you a dime, we didn’t take this out, and you need to clean this off of your records immediately."

You run each one of those down, and finish that account. Make sure that account is closed. You just keep checking. Pull a copy of her credit report about once a month until you get this all resolved and put it behind you.

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