Identity Theft Checklist
This checklist can be used if someone is the victim of identity theft. It provides a guide of key considerations. It is reprinted with permission from the AICPA, and we are happy to provide it to you, although we hope you never need to use it.
Should you ever find yourself a victim of any kind or type of identity theft, the checklist on the next two pages will be your guide. It outlines specific steps you should take to help mitigate the damage of identity theft: closing credit cards, filing a police report, filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, addressing matters with the IRS and more.
For tax-related identity-theft matters, we are here to help, whether it’s contacting the IRS to ensure your payments are properly credited to your account, helping to retrieve a refund issued to the wrong person or responding to IRS notices. Feel free to call our office to discuss your situation and see how we can help.
Combating Identity Theft — Client Checklist *
Report the identity theft to the fraud department of one of the
following reporting agencies as soon as possible. They must notify
the other two agencies.
• Equifax: equifax.com
• Experian: experian.com
• TransUnion: transunion.com
Request a copy of your credit report and request that only the last
four digits of your Social Security number be placed on the report.
Close accounts that you think have been compromised or opened
Inform the credit bureaus and the credit issuers (in writing) of any
fraudulent accounts and incorrect information.
Obtain replacement credit cards with new, secure account numbers
and destroy any old cards.
Notify those who have received your credit report in the last six
months to alert them to any disputed, fraudulent or incorrect
Confirm that an extended fraud alert (seven years) is placed on your
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
Report the crime to the FTC to establish an Identity Theft Affidavit.
Report the crime to your local police or sheriff’s department. Make
sure to prompt as much documented evidence as possible.
Verify that the report lists the fraudulent accounts and keep a copy
of the report.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
Contact the IRS to report the theft. This will alert them to any claim
for refund or other activity on your account. File IRS Form 14039,
Identify Theft Affidavit.
• IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit (IPSU): 800.908.4490
• Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit
Contact your CPA with any questions.
State Tax Agency
Contact your state tax agency to report the theft. Some agencies
may require a police report and/or the IRS affidavit.
Other Agencies and Organizations
U.S. mail fraud: Contact your local postal inspector.
• Online: postalinspectors.uspis.gov
• Phone: 800.275.8777
Social Security number misuse — non-IRS issues:
Check your earnings record to make sure no one is using your SSN
to obtain work. Call your local Social Security Administration (SSA)
office if something looks inaccurate.
Contact the SSA Inspector General to report Social Security benefit
fraud, employment fraud, or welfare fraud.
• Online reporting resources:
– Fraud Reporting Form
• SSA fraud hotline: 800.269.0271
Health Insurance Provider
Contact your health insurance company if your insurance card
was accessed or stolen to help prevent the thief from using your
insurance. Similarly, notify Medicare if your Medicare card was
accessed or stolen.
Utilities and Brokers
Contact your local utility providers (gas, electric, cable, Internet,
cellular carrier, etc.) to ensure no new accounts are opened in your
name. Similarly, let your investment or retirement account company
know your identity documents were stolen so they will be alert to
any suspicious activity on your account.
Tell collectors that you are a victim of fraud and, therefore, not
responsible for the account.
Ask for the name of the collection company/the name of the person
contacting you, the phone number and the address.
Ask for the name and contact information for the referring credit
issuer, the amount of the debt, account number and dates of the
Ask if the debt collector needs you to complete a specific fraud
affidavit form or whether the FTC affidavit may be used.
Follow up, in writing, with the debt collector and ensure that they
confirm, in writing, that you do not owe the debt and that the
account has been closed.
What Else Can You Do?
• Create an identity theft file (keep copies of everything).
• Change all your account passwords. As an extra step, consider
changing your username.
• In all communications with the credit bureaus, refer to the unique
number assigned to your credit report. When mailing information,
use certified, return receipt. Be sure to save all credit reports as
part of your fraud documentation file.
• Review your credit report periodically. An extended fraud alert
allows you to obtain two free credit reports from each of the credit
reporting agencies within 12 months.
• Consider requesting a security freeze. By freezing your credit
reports (bit.ly/freezefile), you can prevent issuers from accessing
your credit files unless you give them permission. This prevents
thieves from opening up new credit card and loan accounts.
• Consider requesting a criminal background check to ensure your
identity is not being used in connection with criminal activities.
*This checklist provides you (our valued client) a structured plan to resolve identity theft issues. Use it to contact the applicable agency (or agencies) and report the fraud. Should you need assistance, please contact our office. Our trained staff is available to help you resolve identity-theft matters (including problems with the IRS) and proactively ensure your information is secure.