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Identity Theft


If you have lost your purse or wallet, the Department of Public Safety wishes to assist you in every way possible. Since your purse/wallet (containing various items of personal identification, credit cards, and checks) was lost, 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.

We are concerned with ensuring that you take appropriate steps to decrease your chance of becoming a victim of identity theft. We suggest the following:

  • Purchase a large notebook and begin by making notations about the date, time, location, and other important information regarding the loss of your belongings.
  • 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.

Business Hours: Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Telephone: 1-800-525-6285 or 1-888-766-0008

Business Hours: Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Telephone: 1-888-397-3742 or 1-800-311-4769

Business Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Telephone: 1-800-680-7289

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.

If your ATM or Debit Card has been lost

Report this to your bank. Close this account and open a new account number and new password. Do not use your old password. Act quickly to ensure that you are not held liable for the fraudulent funds obtained by your impostor.

If checks were lost

Cancel the accounts immediately. Notify your bank of the number and payee on the last check you wrote. Place "stop payments" on the remaining checks. Ask your bank to notify the check verification company they use. Here is a list of some of these companies:

  • National Check Fraud Service: 1-843-571-2143
  • CrossCheck: 1-800-843-0760
  • Equifax Check Systems: 1-800-437-5120
  • International Check Services: 1-800-526-5380
  • SCAN: 1-800-262-7771
  • TeleCheck: 1-800-710-9898
  • Chex Systems: 1-800-428-9623

It may be necessary that YOU contact the major check verification companies. If so, request each company to notify retailers in their database to not accept the lost checks.

If your driver license has been lost

Apply for a duplicate at a Secretary of State branch office. Identification documents are required to issue a replacement license, such as a certified birth certificate, U.S. or Canadian passport, marriage license, and 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.

You should also 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 get tickets in your name by using your name in traffic stops or in 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. You can find that form at the Michigan SOS here

1. Complete the area for the reason you would like the alert on your driver's license. Please be specific.

2. You must sign and print your name.

3. You must include your driver's license number, date of birth, address and daytime phone number (including area code).

4. This form may be submitted by mail to the address listed on the form or by fax. If mailing, use certified mail. If faxing, keep a copy of the fax confirmation.

Once the alert is placed on your driver's license:

1. A letter will be sent to you. It is important that you keep the letter with you to show as a piece of identification if you are involved in a traffic stop or criminal investigation.

2. The alert will stay on your record for seven years. If you are still having problems with someone using your name in traffic stops or criminal investigations after seven years, you may request another alert.

If your keys were lost

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.

If you have any additional questions, or if you believe you may be a victim of identity theft, please contact the Grand Valley Police Department for additional instructions.