Once you’ve filled out, submitted, and printed the FTC’s ID Theft Complaint Form, if you haven’t already filed a police report, you should go to your local police station with a copy of the Complaint Form. You should also continue to take the other steps that victims of ID theft should follow.
What should I bring with me when I go to the police?
When you go to your local police department to file a report, there are several documents that you should bring:
- A printed copy of your ID Theft Complaint Form;
- The Law Enforcement Cover Letter;
- A government-issued identification document, preferably with a photo;
- Proof of residency (something that shows your address), such as a copy of your phone or utilities bill, your rental agreement, or your payroll stub. You can black out any financial information:
- Copies of your credit reports that show inaccuracies caused by identity theft;
- Copies of any credit cards, bills, monthly statements, or collection letters you have received relating to the identity theft; and
- Anything else that shows what happened or provides information about the thief.
What do I need to get from the police?
To take full advantage of your legal rights, you will need to get a detailed, valid police report about your identity theft, which the law calls an “Identity Theft Report.” The officer taking your report can attach or incorporate your ID Theft Complaint Form into their police report to add more detail. Sign your Complaint Form in the presence of the officer, and ask the officer to sign the “Law Enforcement Report Information” section of your complaint.
Ask the officer to give you a copy of the official police report that incorporates or attaches your ID Theft Complaint. In some places the officer will not be able to give you a copy of the official police report, but should be able to sign a copy of your ID Theft Complaint and write the police report
What if the police do not take reports about identity theft in person, but only take them online or over the telephone?
You may find that most federal and state agencies, and some local police departments, offer only “automated” reports – that is, reports that do not require a face-to-face meeting with a law enforcement officer. Automated reports may be submitted online, by telephone, or by mail. If you have a choice, do not use an automated report. The reason? It’s more difficult for the credit reporting company or information provider to verify the information.
If you want the full protections available to you with an Identity Theft Report, you probably will have to give additional information or documentation if you use an automated report. The ID Theft Complaint can help supplement an automated police report. If your police department only lets you file an automated report, fill in the “Automated Report Information” section of your printed ID Theft Complaint. Attach to your ID Theft Complaint a copy of any confirmation you receive from the police.
However, if you are only asking a credit reporting company to place an extended fraud alert on your credit report, an automated report that says that an identity theft occurred should be enough. (This includes an automated report such as the one you file with the FTC and print out as an ID Theft Complaint).
What should I do if I’ve already filed a complaint, but get additional information or have additional problems?
Whenever you have any additional information or problems, contact the FTC at our hotline (1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338)), and we’ll update your complaint in our records. Even if you filed a complaint online, you will need to call the hotline (1-877-ID-THEFT) to update your complaint. We will not be able to send you an updated copy of your printed FTC ID Theft Complaint Form. You can write in your updates by hand on your printed Complaint and take it to the police to review. The police may be able to incorporate the new information into their police report. You may also send any updates to the credit reporting companies and affected businesses.