Victims of Identity Theft
Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information without your permission to fraudulently establish new credit or use existing credit accounts, access bank accounts, and commit many other crimes in your name.
Four steps to follow when you believe you are a victim of identity/consumer fraud:
- Contact the Fraud Department of any one of the three major credit bureaus to place a fraud alert on your credit file. The fraud alert requests creditors to contact you before opening any new accounts or making any changes to your existing accounts. As soon as the credit bureau confirms your fraud alert, the other two credit bureaus will be automatically notified to place a fraud alert and all three credit reports will be sent to you free of charge. Three major credit bureaus:
- Contact your Bank or Financial Institution. Close the accounts that you know or believe have been tampered with or opened fraudulently.
- If you live in Philadelphia contact the Philadelphia Police Department by calling 911. If you live outside of Philadelphia please contact your local police department or the State Police and file a police report. Get a copy of the report to submit to your creditors and others that may require proof of the crime.
- File your complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC maintains a database of identity theft cases for use by law enforcement agencies for investigations. Filing a complaint also identifies the hardships victims experience as a result of identity theft. For more information on recovering from identity theft and help with specific problems, contact the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-IDTHEFT (438-4338).
Agencies to Contact About Identity Theft
Fraud involving personal checks
Scan Check Verification
TeleCheck Customer Service
Consumer Protection (PA residents only)
U.S. Department of Justice
615 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Phone: (215) 861-8200
The Social Security Administration (SSA) OIG Fraud Hotline is a clearinghouse for violations affecting Social Security.
SSA Fraud Hotline
P.O. Box 17768
Baltimore, MD 21235
Hours of operation are 10:00 am to 4:00 pm Eastern Standard Time.
Hearing impaired customers should call 1-866-501-2102.
Mail Fraud (PA residents only)
Notify the Post Office when you have been a victim of mail fraud or if someone has changed your address.
P.O. Box 7500
Philadelphia, PA 19101-9000
P.O. Box 60354
Harrisburg, PA 17106-0035
101 California Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15290-9000
Secret Service (PA residents only)
The Secret Service investigates crimes dealing with credit card fraud, financial institution fraud and crimes dealing with the false use of personal identifiers.
600 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19100
1000 Liberty Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
P.O. Box 247
Scranton, PA 18501
Report any lost or stolen passports to:
U.S. State Department
National Passport Information Center
2201 C. Street NE
Washington, DC 20570
Telephone: (202) 955-0430
Driver's license number misuse
Call the state office of the Department of Motor Vehicles (1-800-932-4600) to see if another license was issued in your name. Put a fraud alert on your license. Go to your local DMV to request a new number. Fill out the DMV's complaint form to begin the investigation process. Send supporting documents with the completed form to the nearest DMV investigation office.
If someone has used your personal information when arrested please call (215) 686-8027.
If you believe that someone has obtained traffic tickets or moving violations in your name you must appeal the tickets with traffic court. The Philadelphia Traffic Court is located at 800 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19123. You should also contact the Police Department to file a report.