If your purse or wallet have been lost or stolen, the Department of Public Safety wishes to assist you in every way possible. Since your purse/wallet contains various items of personal identification, credit cards, and checks, you are at risk for criminal victimization through personal identity theft. Personal identity theft sometimes begins with a lost or stolen purse or wallet.
Personal identity theft is the unauthorized use of another person's personal identifying information to: obtain credit, goods, services, money, or property; or commit a felony or misdemeanor.
Personal identifying information means a person's name, address, telephone number, driver's license number, social security number, place of employment, employee identification number, mother's maiden name, demand deposit account number, savings or checking account number, or credit card number.
Document everything! Purchase a large notebook and begin by making notations about the date, time, location, and other important information regarding the loss of your belongings.
Be thorough. It is likely that you will need to make several telephone calls to protect yourself from becoming a victim of identity theft. For each call, record the date, time, telephone number, person's name, purpose of call, what was accomplished, what follow-up is needed, and other relevant notes. Also, write down any questions you asked and the answers received.
Keep copies of all letters you write and all forms you submit. Mail everything by certified mail. Keep these records in a safe place. Be consistent and methodical, and take action immediately! Begin by contacting all three credit report bureaus.
Contact the three major credit bureaus: TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. Request that a fraud alert be place on your file immediately. You will be assigned a reference or confirmation number to use in future communications. Your name and address will be removed from pre-screened mailing lists for a length of time specified by each credit bureau. Each credit bureau is different, so follow their instructions explicitly. They may ask you to write a letter and enclose copies of three pieces of identification before they mail your report. Be sure to ask how long the alert will be in effect and how to extend it, if necessary.
Order a copy of your credit report from each of the credit bureaus every three to six months for the first year. After the first year, order copies semi-annually or at least annually. Remember, if the person(s) who stole your identity has not been apprehended and/or your belongings have not been recovered, your identity still remains in their possession and you are subject to future victimization. Or, your impostor may have sold your information to someone else who may attempt to use it at some later date.
Credit Card Companies
Apply for a replacement at a Secretary of State branch office. Identification documents are required to issue a replacement license, such as a certified birth certificate, US or Canadian passport, marriage license or photo identification cards issued by a Michigan governmental agency. Contact a Secretary of State branch office for a complete list of acceptable documents and specific requirements. Please be aware that photocopies and facsimiles are not adequate proof. Only original documents will be accepted.
Put an alert on your driver's license. The purpose of an alert on a driver's license is to limit the chance that someone will use your name in traffic stops or criminal investigations. The alert will notify law enforcement officers that someone may be using your name and that sufficient identification should be checked whenever your name and date of birth are used during a traffic stop or criminal investigation.
The alert is NOT available on state identification cards and will only be placed on VALID Michigan driver's licenses. The address used on the alert form MUST match the address on your driver's license.
Once the alert is placed on your driver's license:
Change the locks on your home and car if your keys were lost.
Remember, if someone finds your keys in conjunction with your personal information, they have both your address and access to your residence.
Contact the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 to request a replacement card.
If you suspect that someone is using your social security number to obtain employment, contact the Social Security Administration's fraud hotline at 1-800-269-0271.
Order a copy of your Personal Earnings and Benefit Estimate Statement (PEBES) to check the accuracy of your work history on file with the Social Security Administration. You can obtain a PEBES application at your local Social Security office.
For a passport issued by the United States, notify the US Department of State.
For passports issued by a country other than the United States, contact the local Embassy or consular section for the country of your citizenship. Most countries have websites with contact information.