Criminal identity theft recovery requires you to take every step you can to restore your good name. If you are a victim of criminal identity theft, this is a time when you have to forge ahead as you present your case to your local law enforcement agency, the FTC, the courts, any employer, the DMV, victim resources along with many other agencies.
Were you falsely arrested?
If you are arrested for a crime an imposter committed using your name, do your best to provide police with an alibi as to where you were at the time of the crime. In some cases, criminal identity theft victims are arrested over and over because law enforcement does not always believe them Luckily, the state of California’s Department of Justice has an Identity Theft Registry where your name can be registered, once your case has been proved. Once assigned, this number is used by law enforcement or employers to verify that you are not the criminal. If you live in a state that doesn’t have an Identity Theft Registry or Passport Program, contact the Attorney General to find out if your state has a program in place, by visiting the National Association of Attorneys General
Wrongfully convicted for criminal identity theft?
If you are prosecuted for a crime you didn’t’ commit, contact the California Department of Justice and the FBI. If you live outside of California, contact your state’s Department of Justice and ask for information on how to clear your name. While clearing your name is not going to be easy, you should never give up. For free help and guidance, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center at 1-800-400-5530. You should also visit the ITRC’s criminal identity theft fact page for answers to your many questions.
Has a warrant been issued for your arrest?
If you are notified that a warrant has been issued in your name; according to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, go to your local law enforcement agency to report that the arrest or charge is a case of mis-identification, because someone else is using your information. The police will then confirm who you are so be prepared to provide your fingerprints and legal documents. You are also going to have to work with the court on an ongoing basis, so be persistent. For more details on how to clear your name from criminal identity theft, visit the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse Criminal Identity theft page.
Criminal identity theft could cause you serious emotional harm
A criminal posing as you could do serious damage to your name, reputation and well being, so keep in mind that you are going to need all the help you can get. For step by step help and guidance, visit the FTC’s recovery plan page Follow the prompts to get started. Whether you are a victim of a data breach or your wallet is lost or stolen, it is always a good idea to be prepared, so go ahead and ask for help before things get worse.
What if your drivers license is affected?
If you live outside the state of California, contact your local DMV for instructions on what to do if someone is using your drivers license. If you live in California, visit the Department of Motor Vehicles identity theft resource page for help on what to do if an identity thief uses your identification or driver’s license. If your California ID or drivers license has been misused, stolen or compromised in a data breach, contact the California DMV by emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling them at 1-866-658-5758 to ask about the steps you will need to take to recover from criminal identity theft. You can also reach the DMV fraud department by mail at DL Fraud Unit MS L217, PO Box 932391, Sacramento CA 94232-3910 For step by step help, visit the California DMV’s identity theft page.
Recovering from criminal identity theft
Being a victim of criminal identity theft is most likely the scariest time of your life, so be sure to take care of yourself. You may not know exactly what to do or where to start, but hang in there, things will get better. Most importantly, never stop, or give up your fight. If you have suffered as a result of criminal identity theft, no one can truly know or replace all that you and your family have suffered but you are on the right road.
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