Identity Theft

Identity Theft Victim's Action Plan

  • 1

    Contact Local Law Enforcement

    Illinois law mandates that the police take your report of identity theft and start an investigation. (720 ILCS 5/16G-10)

    Department of Police and Public Safety

  • 2

    Place a Fraud Alert

    Place a fraud alert on your credit report and review your credit reports.

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

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

     Contact information for placing a fraud alert:

  • 3

    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.

    • Credit card companies and banks must be informed in writing. 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    • You have 60 days from the date your bank statement is sent to you to report in writing money withdrawn without your permission.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.

    • Loss reported within two business days, account holder maximum loss: $50.
    • Loss reported two to 60 days after unauthorized electronic fund transfer: up to $500.
    • Loss reported after 60 days: lose all money successfully taken out of your account.

    • 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:
    • To find out if the identity thief has been passing bad checks in your name, call SCAN at 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.

    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
  • 4

    File a Complaint

    File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission online, by calling 877-438-4338, or writing to:

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

    To opt out of prescreened offers for credit and insurance, call 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.