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When a citizen complains they are a victim of identity theft, here are some steps you can take to help them recover:
Take a written report
A police report paves the “road to recovery” for the victim. Collect and preserve any evidence supplied by the victim, such as:
Provide a copy of the official police report to the victim.
Many creditors require an official report to resolve a dispute. Consumer reporting companies will automatically block fraudulent accounts and bad debts from appearing on a credit report, but often only if they are provided a copy of the police report.
Advise victims to close any accounts that they know or believe have been tampered with or opened fraudulently.
Advise the victim to notify the three credit reporting agencies to place a “Fraud Alert.”
A fraud alert is a notation that requires a business to take extra reasonable steps to verify a person’s identity before issuing a line of credit or offering services. A fraud alert remains in effect for one year.
An extended alert can be obtained for seven years; however, a consumer reporting agency will require a copy of a report filed with a law enforcement agency.
Encourage the victim to consider placing a security freeze on their credit report.
It’s free for a victim that has filed a police report and can add a layer of protection for new account fraud. Information about the security freeze can be found through our website at datcp.wi.gov.
If financial fraud has occurred the victim should complete the “Release of Information” form found on our website at datcp.wi.gov. The completion of this form can be helpful in the investigation of fraud and provides permission to merchants to release information about the victim to law enforcement.
Contact the Bureau of Consumer Protection at (800) 422-7128.
By sharing identity theft complaints with the Bureau of Consumer Protection you provide important information that can help other law enforcement officials track down identity thieves and stop them. The bureau helps victims resolve financial issues resulting from identity theft. We also assist victims by providing them with an outline of steps to take and the appropriate entities to contact in order to protect themselves from further victimization.
For more information or to file a complaint, contact the Bureau of Consumer Protection at (800) 422-7128 or via email: DATCPHotline@wi.gov.