Identity Theft Victim's Action Plan 

Contact Local Law Enforcement

Contact local law enforcement that has jurisdiction over your actual residence. Illinois Law mandates that the police take your report of identity theft and START AN INVESTIGATION. 720 ILCS 5/16G-10

Place a Fraud Alert

Place a fraud alert on your credit report and review your credit reports.  See Sample Letter Disputing Credit Report.

Fraud alerts can prevent the ID thief from opening additional accounts in your name.  Contact any of the 3 consumer reporting companies (CRC) to place an alert.  There are 2 types of alerts:

  • Initial Alert – stays on for 90 days—use if you suspect you have been or about to be a victim of ID theft.  After putting an initial alert on your report, you are entitled to a free credit report from each CRC.
  • Extended Alert – remains on your credit report for 7 years.  Use if you are a victim of identity theft.  You are entitled to 2 free credit reports within 12 months of placing the alert from each of the CRCs.  The CRCs will remove your name from marketing lists for prescreened credit offers for 5 years, unless you ask to be put back on the list.

To Place a Fraud Alert:

Close Accounts

Close accounts that you know or believe have been tampered with. Call and then write the security or fraud department for each company. 

For Fraud Involving ATM and Debit Cards

  • Credit card companies and banks must be informed in writing.  See Sample Dispute Letter to Creditor.  Send your notification with supporting documents certified mail, return receipt requested.
  • You have 60 days from the date your bank statement is sent to you to report in writing money withdrawn without your permission.
  • This includes money skimmed, i.e., when the thief uses your account number and pin without your card being lost or stolen.

Consumer’s Responsibility When ATM or Debit Card is Lost or Stolen

  • Loss reported with 2 business days--account holder maximum loss, $50.
  • Loss reported 2 – 60 days after unauthorized electronic fund transfer—up to $500
  • Loss reported after 60 days—lose all money successfully taken out of your account.                       

For Fraudulent Checks & Other ‘Paper’ Transactions

  • Stop payment
  • Close the account
  • Ask the bank to notify the check verification service with which it does business to notify retailers who use their service:
    Telecheck – 800-710-9898
    Certegy, Inc. – 800-437-5120 
  • To find out if the ID thief has been passing bad checks in your name, call SCAN – 800-262-7771
  • Call merchants who reject your checks.  You can find out what information the thief is using.  If the thief is using your driver’s license number, call the Secretary of State Fraudulent Review Unit to report fraud.

For Fraudulent New Accounts

Chex Systems, Inc. produces consumer reports about checking accounts.  

  • Request a copy of the report and dispute all inaccuracies.  
  • Call and write the banks where inquires were made or accounts opened.

Chex Systems, Inc. 
7805 Hudson Road
Suite 100
Woodbury, MN 55125
Fax 602-659-2197            

File a Complaint

File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission on line.    

ID Theft Clearinghouse, FTC 
900 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 10580

To opt out of prescreened offers for credit and insurance, call Credit Bureau, 888-567-8688 (toll free)

For Social Security Misuse, call 800-269-0271 or fax 410-597-0118
SSA Fraud Notice
P. O. Box 17768
Baltimore, MD 21235

Deter Identity Thieves: Shred all financial documents including credit cards offers and credit card statements.

If you have any questions or concerns, call Students’ Legal Assistance 815-753-1701 to make an appointment.