Filing an Identity Theft Police Report
Identity theft affects millions of people, results in the loss of billions of dollars, and is growing worse every year. Advances in technology have made it easier for criminals to access personal information, and in most cases, victims don't discover that they're victims until they see collection notices and arrest warrants in their names. For identity theft victims, one of the first steps in recovering from this crime is filing an identity theft report with the police department, either in the town or city where they live or in the location where the identity theft incident occurred.
If you're a victim, reporting identity theft to the police is something you should do immediately — as soon as you've reviewed your credit reports and while you're in the process of contacting a credit bureau, requesting a fraud alert on your credit files, and closing any accounts that the thief opened or compromised. In order for police to help you, you need to help the police by providing documentation like a current credit report. To begin an investigation, cops need information, and your current credit report can show them what new accounts are open, when someone opened them, and which current accounts the thief has used.
The importance of reporting identity theft to the police can't be overstated. A copy of an identity theft report lends credibility to your claim when you need it the most — i.e., when you're contacting creditors and following up with correspondence proving that thieves ran up huge balances, not you. As you begin the process of recovering and rebuilding relationships with banks, credit card companies, merchants and other fraud victims, an identity theft report is your best weapon in the fight to regain your identity.
Some police departments are unable or unwilling to help victims file an identity theft report. If you encounter any obstacles like this, remain calm, and request a Miscellaneous Incident report instead. If that isn't an option, you may have no recourse but to contact the local county sheriff's department or, if necessary, the state police or the state attorney general's office.