Full Guide: What to Do if You Live in Orlando and Your Identity Has Been Stolen
Identity theft, also known as identity fraud, is far too common in the United States. As it happens, Florida is among the states with the highest rates of identity theft in the country. If you suspect your identity has been stolen, you must follow the steps outlined below.
Forms of Identity Theft
Here are some common forms of identity theft:
- Debit card fraud or credit card fraud
- Social security number theft
- Account takeover fraud
- Online shopping fraud
If you think you’re experiencing any of the instances of fraud listed above, you should follow the next steps immediately.
1. File a Report With the Orlando Police Department
Victims of identity theft—no matter what type of fraud it is—should always fill out a police report first.
Not only will this provide you with a record for the future, but it also helps the police department understand criminal trends. This will help them catch the individual(s) responsible for the crime.
1a. Check Your Eligibility
To file a report with the Orlando Police Department, you must be a resident of the city, and the fraud must have occurred within city limits, too.
2. Collect Necessary Information
In an identity theft case, you’ll need paperwork and other written or digital evidence to prove your identity has been stolen.
The police or investigating office will want your address, zip code, social security number, etc., in order to file a police report.
This information includes your account number, the debit/credit card(s) that the thief used for fraudulent purchases, etc.
The police will need to know what information was stolen (e.g., the credit or debit card number that was used to make fraudulent purchases).
Personal information is necessary when filing a police report. It establishes that you are who you say you are. It’s also crucial that you create a list of the information that was stolen. That identifies what you lost and what will hopefully be reimbursed.
3. Understand What You Have Lost
As we mentioned above, you must know what you have lost as a result of the crime. Some questions to ask yourself are:
- Was my social security number stolen?
- Did someone use my account information to make fraudulent purchases?
- Has someone claimed my tax refund, unemployment, or other sensitive benefits?
Identifying this information allows you to assess what you have lost.
4. Place a Fraud Alert
You can place a fraud alert by contacting your bank as well as a credit reporting agency to report that you have been a victim of identity theft.
Oftentimes, banks have a system that alerts customers of a suspicious purchase or when personal information may have been breached. Making a report with a credit reporting agency is easy, and the alert stays on your account for at least one year.
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