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Identity Theft - Head Matters


3. Victims of Identity Theft

b. Who to contact (continued)

Contact credit card companies – If a thief has gained access to a credit card, contact the security department of that credit card company. Close any affected accounts so that they’re registered as “closed at customer request.” Get new account numbers, and protect the accounts with passwords. Follow up with a letter documenting the date, the name of the person who helped you, and what actions were taken.

Major Credit Card Companies (numbers for lost or stolen cards):
  • Discover 1-800-347-2683
  • Visa 1-800-847-2911
  • MasterCard 1-800-622-7747
  • American Express 1-800-992-3404
Contact your bank or credit union – Inform your bank if your wallet or purse was stolen or lost. Tell them what bank account information, including account numbers, ATM cards, or checks it contained. Cancel checking and savings accounts and open new ones. Stop payments on outstanding checks. Get a new ATM card, account number, and PIN or password.

Contact the government authorities – It is also good to contact other authorities that specialize in identity theft. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) runs the ID Theft Hotline and the ID Theft Data Clearinghouse. When you contact the Social Security Administration (SSA), be sure to check the accuracy of your work history and order a copy of your Personal Earnings and Benefit Estimate Statements (PEBES) to check for accuracy.
  • FTC Identity Theft Hotline: (877) 438-4338
  • If mail service was used in the fraud, contact the U.S. Postal Inspectors: (800) 372-8347
  • Notify the Social Security Administration’s Fraud Hotline (800) 269-0271
  • Obtain a PEBES application at your local Social Security Office or online at 

Respond to collections agencies – If a collection agency contacts you and you’re not responsible for the debt, write them a letter explaining that it’s not your debt and include the police report or the identity theft affidavit. Make sure that you send the letter with a “Return Receipt Requested” and keep the stub for your records. If the collection agency continues to contact you after you’ve sent them the information, file a complaint with the Colorado Collection Agency Board, 1525 Sherman Street, 7th Floor, Denver, CO 80203. There number is 303-866-5304. Additional information is available on-line at

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