Office of Privacy Protection
File a Complaint
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If you are the victim of identity theft, take immediate steps to protect yourself:
1. Close the accounts that you know, or believe, have been tampered with or opened fraudulently.
Call and speak with someone in the security or fraud department of each company. Follow up in writing, and include copies (NOT originals) of supporting documents. It's important to notify credit card companies and banks in writing. Send your letters by certified mail, return receipt requested, so you can document what the company received and when. Keep a file of your correspondence and enclosures.
When you open new accounts, use new Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) and passwords. Avoid using easily available information like your mother's maiden name, your birth date, the last four digits of your Social Security number or your phone number, or a series of consecutive numbers.
2. File a report with your local police or the police in the community where the identity theft took place.
Call your local police department and tell them that you want to file a report about your identity theft. Ask them if you can file the report in person. If you cannot, ask if you can file a report over the Internet or telephone.
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3. Place a fraud alert on your credit reports and review your credit reports.
Fraud alerts can help prevent an identity thief from opening any more accounts in your name. Contact the toll-free fraud number of any of the three consumer reporting companies below to place a fraud alert on your credit report. You only need to contact one of the three companies to place an alert. The company you call is required to contact the other two, which will place an alert on their versions of your report, too. If you do not receive a confirmation from a company, you should contact that company directly to place a fraud alert.
TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289; www.transunion.com; P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19022
Equifax: 1-800-525-6285; www.equifax.com; P.O. Box 10569, Atlanta, GA 30348
Experian: 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742); www.experian.com; P.O. Box 9701, Allen, TX 75013
Once you place the fraud alert in your file, you're entitled to order one free copy of your credit report from each of the three consumer reporting companies, and, if you ask, only the last four digits of your Social Security number will appear on your credit reports. Once you get your credit reports, review them carefully. Look for inquiries from companies you haven't contacted, accounts you didn't open, and debts on your accounts that you can't explain. Check that information, like your Social Security number, address(es), name or initials, and employers are correct. If you find fraudulent or inaccurate information, get it removed.
Continue to check your credit reports periodically, especially for the first year after you discover the identity theft, to make sure no new fraudulent activity has occurred.
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4. File a complaint with the Office of Privacy Protection.
Download an Office of Privacy Protection Complaint Form (4 page PDF) You may also e-mail us at DATCPWisconsinPrivacy@wisconsin.gov, or call the Consumer Hotline at 1-800-422-7128.
Fill out the complaint form in its entirety. The more information you can provide, the better we will be able to assist you. Submitting an incomplete complaint form may make it difficult to refer, respond to, or investigate your complaint.
Send in the complaint form with copies of any documentation that supports your complaint.
Please be aware that while your complaint is available for public review upon request under Wisconsin’s Open Records law, the department will maintain the confidentiality of your personally identifiable information to the fullest extent permitted by law.
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What happens to your complaint?
Once your complaint is received, your information will be evaluated by a consumer specialist to determine an appropriate course of action. We will follow up about your complaint within 14 business days.
In some cases, self-help information will be sent to you in order to get you started on the path to recovering your identity. In other cases, the business(es) will be contacted about your complaint and corrective action requested. Although we cannot force a business to resolve a complaint or take action, our contact with companies often results in a solution to a consumer’s problem.
If we believe an identity thief or business may have violated state laws, we may reach out to local law enforcement officials to see if they will start an investigation. If your complaint is part of a bigger identity theft or identity fraud investigation; your complaint will be shared with the appropriate local, state, and federal authorities.
Please remember that laws can only provide protection in some areas and usually after the fact.
For more information, contact the Office of Privacy Protection at 1-800-422-7128 or e-mail us at DATCPWisconsinPrivacy@wisconsin.gov