A phone call from a collections company for an account that you never opened. Landlords calling about property damage to apartments that you have never gone near. Arrest warrants for bad checks that you never wrote. Those are just some of the ways that individuals have found out that they have become a victim of identity theft. Criminals stealing your good name to line their own pocketbooks. The crime strikes at the financial security that you have worked so hard to build, and a few actions by the dregs of society can create headaches that take years to fully resolve.
If you think you have been the victim of identity theft, it is critical that you contact your local police department to report the crime as soon as possible. In addition, you should immediately contact the three major credit reporting companies listed here to place a fraud alert on your credit report. The fraud alert is free, and will direct merchants who have an application for credit in your name to take additional steps to ensure that it is really you applying for that credit.
In addition, as of August 1, 2008, Georgia consumers can place a credit freeze on their credit histories in an effort to further protect against identity theft. Details on how to place a credit freeze can be found here.