Identity theft occurs when a criminal, through fraud, theft or deception, obtains important personal or financial information, such as your Social Security number, banking or credit card numbers. Criminals use the information to commit fraud, theft, or other crimes, often for financial gain.
Identity theft victims may experience financial losses, and spend considerable time, effort and money to fix the damage to their financial and credit records, and restore their damaged reputation.
Are you a victim?
Act now. Start with this checklist from the Iowa ID Theft Victim Assistance Coalition on what to do immediately, how to followup and how to get help. Here are other resources:
- Federal Trade Commission Identity Theft website: Includes what to do right away, what to do next, specific types of identity theft, protecting your identity, and sample letters and forms.
- AnnualCreditReport.com: The only source authorized by federal law for your free credit reports.
Freeze your credit report
We recommend placing a security freeze and a temporary fraud alert on each of your credit reports. Here are the five most important steps to avoid being a victim of identity theft.
Identity Theft Passport
The Identity Theft Passport Act established by Iowa Code section 715A.9A provides identity theft victims with a way to substantiate the crime to creditors and law enforcement. If you have been the victim of identity theft, the Identity Theft Passport can help you reclaim your identity. Identity Theft Passports are issued through the Attorney General's Crime Victim Assistance Division.
Identity theft victims can present their Identity Theft Passport ("ID Theft Passport") to law enforcement agencies to help prevent their arrest for offenses committed by a person who stole their identity. The ID Theft Passport may also be presented to creditors to aid in the investigation of fraudulent charges and to consumer reporting agencies as an official notice of disputed charges on credit reports.
For information about the State of Iowa Identity Theft Passport program, click here.
Code of Iowa - Identity Theft
Value for purposes of identity theft: 715A.9
888-777-4590 (outside of the Des Moines metro area)
Office of the Attorney General of Iowa
Consumer Protection Division
Hoover State Office Building
1305 E. Walnut Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0106