Beware, this is a time-consuming process that will require you to focus and have more patience than you have ever used before. When resolving identity theft problems, government agencies, financial institutions, and the credit bureaus commonly suggest these steps-
1. Immediately contact your bank(s) and credit card provider(s). This is urgent. Don’t wait another minute to report this!
2. Immediately report any issue to the credit reporting agencies: Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
3. Speak to the fraud department at each bureau.
a. You should speak to the fraud department at each credit bureau. The credit bureaus can put a “fraud alert” on your file that will tell creditors to contact you before they open any accounts in your name.
i. Dun & Bradstreet: 1-800-234-3867
ii. Equifax: 1-800-525-6285
iii. Experian: 1-888-397-3742
iv. TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289
b. Compare the EIN of the hijacked business to the EIN of your business. Report any discrepancy to the credit reporting agencies.
c. You may also want to contact a list of other business credit reporting bureaus. A list of some of the other top business credit reporting bureaus is available at Business Credit Bureaus Listing.
4. File a report with the local law enforcement and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. (a.k.a. the CBI-Denver Identity Theft Unit) at 303-239-4211.
- If you need support, contact the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and request the help of a Victim Advocate.
5. Contact other creditors and billing companies to notify them of the identity theft.
6. Document everything- all contacts and take notes about the conversations and what they want from you. Ask for names, department names and extensions as well as the date you speak with each person.
7. Follow up. Make sure the creditors and credit reporting agencies receive everything they have requested. It makes sense to place a follow-up call or send a letter for confirmation. This way you know you’ve done all that you were supposed to do. Hold onto that information. Don’t throw the files away. Keep all notes and correspondence in an accessible file in case they are needed in the future.
8. Keep monitoring your accounts and credit reports.
Following these steps can help you through the process of identity theft and the recovery period. We know it is frustrating and makes you mad, but you’ll get through this. You are stronger than you think. Just take it one step at a time. You can do this.
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