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What if the police won't take an ID theft report?

Make sure you get a police report--insist on it

There are efforts at the federal, state and local level to ensure that local law enforcement agencies understand identity theft, its impact on victims, and the importance of taking a police report. However, some departments are still not taking reports. The following tips may help you to get a report if you're having difficulties:

Furnish as much documentation as you can to prove your case. Debt collection letters, credit reports, your notarized ID Theft Affidavit from the FTC, and other evidence of fraudulent activity can help demonstrate the seriousness of your case.

Be persistent if local authorities tell you that they can't take a report. Stress the importance of a police report; many creditors require one to resolve your dispute. Remind them that credit bureaus will automatically block the fraudulent accounts and bad debts from appearing on your credit report, but only if you can give them a copy of the police report.

If you're told that identity theft is not a crime under your state law, ask to file a Miscellaneous Incident Report instead.

If you can't get the local police to take a report, try your county police. If that doesn't work, try your state police.

Many police departments may be reluctant to write a report on this type of crime. Some may say that you are not the victim; rather, it is the credit grantor who lost the money. They may want the report to come from the creditor, who oftentimes will not cooperate because it is not cost-effective for them to spend the time and energy to assist the police. To them, fraud loss is viewed as a cost of doing business. Even if the creditor won't prosecute, you must insist that the police take a report. Speak to the head of the fraud unit (or white-collar crime unit) of the police department in the county(s) or cities where the fraudulent accounts were opened. (If accounts were opened all over the nation, you may be able to get the Secret Service involved). In order to clean up the credit mess, you will need a report.

Source: FTC

Category: Consumer Tips
Posted on March 3, 2004 at 01:22 PM | Permalink


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