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• Equifax: 1-800-525-6285; www.equifax.com; P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374- 0241
• Experian: 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742); www.experian.com; P.O. Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013 2. Close accounts that have or might have been opened through your stolen identity. Speak with someone at the bank or credit card company where accounts or debits were fraudulently made, preferably someone within the security department. They will give you the opportunity to dispute these charges and hopefully get all of your money back. 3. File a police report. Wherever the theft took place, whether on or off-campus, file a report with the police. More than likely, they will never find who stole your purse and took your identity, but filing a report will help you deal with the security departments at banks and credit card companies. They’ll know that your claim that your wallet or purse was taken is legit. 4. File a complaint with the FTC. This last step will enable the Federal Trade Commission to track down identity thieves and prevent them from doing any further damage. You can file a complaint through these outlets: • Online: www.ftc.gov/idtheft
• Phone: 1-877-IDTHEFT (438-4338); TTY: 1-866-653- 4261
• Mail: Identity Theft Clearinghouse, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580 A stolen identity situation, especially if it happens while you’re in college, can be scary. But by taking the right precautions, you can have the matter and your name cleared. Just be careful where you leave your purse or wallet, who you give your information to as well as where you provide your info over the phone (i.e. in line for coffee or in the student lounge). Taking basic precautions can prevent you from ever having to clean up the mess that someone else made in your name.