If your parent is the victim of Identity Theft

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Here are the steps you need to take as soon as you suspect that your parent(s) have been the victims of Identity Theft:

1. Notify one of the Credit Reporting Companies, Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion (you need Financial POA to do so on behalf of your parent or you can help them do so on their own). When you notify one, it will notify the other two for you.
2. Establish fraud alerts.
1. A fraud alert means that every time a creditor wants to check your parent's credit report, it will need to call you. A fraud alert will be effective for 90 days.
3. Instruct the credit bureaus to block information about the fraudulent accounts from future reports.
4. Also ask them to remove inquiries that appeared due to fraudulent requests.
5. Credit bureaus also allow you to request a freezing of credit reports which means no one will be able to access it. The security freeze is free to victims of identity theft in most states. However, the downside is that if your parent needs credit for medical bills etc. it will be more difficult to obtain while the freeze is in effect.
6. Report the crime to your local police department and FTC (Federal Trade Commission)
7. If the credit report shows fraudulent accounts, contact the creditors and notify them of the identity theft. Be sure to request written confirmation by fax or mail.
8. If a bill collector contacted you regarding a fraudulent account, inform it that your parent is a victim of identity theft. Follow up by sending them a fraud affidavit stating your parent is not responsible for the account and that the account needs to be closed immediately.
9. Check if your parent(s) are missing any ATM or Credit cards. If yes, report the lost card to the bank or credit card company that issued it.

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Great information to pass along! Thank you. Being proactive is always the best way to be.

It is also worthwhile to have them put on the DO NOT CALL LIST too.
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