How to Report Social Security Fraud
How to Report Fraud
Fraud is a criminal offense perpetrated when an individual deceives others for financial or personal gain. Most national governments have an agency or a number of agencies that take on the task of controlling and stopping fraud. In the United States, the way you report fraud depends upon the type of crime and the appropriate agency that polices it. It is important to submit a detailed fraud report to the proper agency after the crime. Most agencies have an online or telephone reporting system. Read in to find out how to report different types of fraud.
Gather evidence that your identity was stolen.Identify fraud is when someone uses your name, credit card information, social security number, or other personal data to make purchases, take out loans, or otherwise commit fraud. If you were the victim of identify fraud, it's important to gather as much evidence as possible so you can report the fraud and stop the criminal from continuing to use your identify.Evidence of identity theft and fraud may include:
- Credit card statements that show purchases you didn't make
- Statements from credit card companies you don't have an account with
- Collection notices for debts that aren't yours
- Mistakes on your credit reports from the three credit agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion
Report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).The FTC processes complaints from people who believe they are victims of identity theft and refers them to agencies who will investigate the crime. The FTC will help you create an identity theft affidavit you can use to aid in filing a police report.You can report identity theft to the FTC by doing one of the following:
- Report it online by visiting www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/feature-0014-identity-theft.
- Report it over the phone by calling 1-877-ID THEFT (877-438-4338) or TDD at 1-866-653-4261.
- Report it by mail by sending your complaint to Consumer Response Center, FTC, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580.
File a police report.Go to your local police station and file an identify theft report. Have a copy of your FTC identity theft affidavit, any other evidence of fraud that you have gathered, and a valid ID.Fill out and file a report, and request a copy as well as a report number so you can keep track of the progress of the report.
Report it to the three credit reporting companies.Do this as soon as possible after determining that your identity was used to take out a new credit line, make purchases, take out loans, or anything else that could affect your credit. Each credit reporting company has a fraud unit to deal with credit fraud:
- Equifax: Call (800) 525-6285.
- Experian: Call (888) EXPERIAN or (888) 397-3742.
- TransUnion: Call (800) 680-7289.
Contact the Social Security Administration.If you suspect your social security number was stolen and is being used to commit fraud, report it immediately by calling 800-269-0271. The Social Security Administration will help you determine whether you need to receive a new social security number and card.
Contact other agencies to report specific types of identity fraud.If you suspect your private information has been tampered with or used to do more than make purchases or take out loans, there are other specific agencies you may need to get in touch with to file reports.
- If you think the identify thief contacted the post office to have your address changed, call your local office of the Postal Inspection Service.
- If you think your tax identification information was used fraudulently, call, the IRS at 1-800-829-0433.
- If your personal information was used to open a fraudulent bank account, call the financial institution involved to report it.
- If your personal information was used to make long-distance phone calls or international purchases, call the companies involved to report the problem.
Gather evidence that you are the victim of internet fraud.If you believe you were defrauded online, by either an individual or a website, gather as much information as possible to serve as evidence of what happened. Collect the other party's web address, email address, and records of your correspondence. Depending on the type of internet fraud that occurred, you may also need to collect bank statements and other types of evidence. Here are the most common types of internet fraud:
File a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).This is a US government agency set up to receive and process complaints related to internet fraud. To file a complaint,
- Go to www.ic3.gov/default.aspx
- Accept the "Terms and Conditions"
- Fill out your personal information and a description of the fraud
- Submit your complaint
Consider filing a police report.If you were defrauded online by a local perpetrator, you might want to file a police report to get an investigation underway. Go to your local police station and file an identify theft report. Have a copy of your FTC identity theft affidavit, any other evidence of fraud that you have gathered, and a valid ID.Fill out and file a report, and request a copy as well as a report number so you can keep track of the progress of the report.
File a complaint with the Consumer Protection Agency and the Better Business Bureau.If you were defrauded by a local business, the Consumer Protection Agency and the Better Business Bureau should be notified. These institutions will investigate the business and prevent further fraud from occurring.
- Go to www.usa.gov/topics/consumer.shtml to file a complaint with the Consumer Protection Agency.
- Go to www.bbb.org to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.
Credit Card Fraud
Gather evidence of credit card fraud.The best evidence you'll have that credit card fraud has been committed is a credit card statement showing purchases that you didn't make. As soon as you notice strange charges on your credit card statement, file a report right away.
Report it to your credit card company.Call your credit card company and follow instructions to speak with the credit card fraud department. Explain the situation and say you want to cancel your credit card immediately due. Take steps to get the fraudulent charges removed from your account as well.
- Report the fraud immediately to avoid charges. Federal law states that if you report the fraud within 2 days, you will only be responsible for of the fraudulent charges. If you wait more than 2 days, you could be responsible for up to 0 worth of charges. If you wait longer than 60 days, you may be responsible for all of the charges.
- Even if there was just one fraudulent charge on your credit card, you should cancel the card and get a new number, so the person won't be able to use your card again.
- If you think your card number was stolen online, or was stolen as the result of using an insecure website, you might also want to report it to the IC3 at www.ic3.gov/default.aspx.
Get your credit reports.Call all three credit reporting agencies to obtain your credit reports. Check over the reports to see if your credit was affected by the fraudulent charges. Look carefully to see if any new credit lines were established in your name. If you see anything suspicious, take steps to correct the errors. Each credit reporting company has a fraud unit to deal with credit fraud:
- Equifax: Call (800) 525-6285.
- Experian: Call (888) EXPERIAN or (888) 397-3742.
- TransUnion: Call (800) 680-7289.
Other Types of Fraud
Contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to report tax fraud.Go online to IRS.gov and search for Form 3949-A. You can print it out and mail it or submit it online. For concerns about fraudulent Certified Public Accountants or tax agents, use the email to contact the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility.
Email the Department of Justice to report bankruptcy fraud.Write out a fact-based report that includes your contact information and send it to .
Report stolen or fraudulent checks to the National Check Fraud Service.Call 1-843-571-2143 to report personal check fraud or counterfeit checks. Counterfeit checks, taken from actual account numbers, are often used in Internet lottery scams.
- You should also call your bank and close your account, in order to avoid the production of counterfeit checks. Then, notify the police and possibly submit a police report.
Report "elder fraud" to Eldercare.Elder fraud is financial fraud committed against an elderly person. Call the Eldercare locator at 1-800-677-1116. This agency can help you find the correct services in your area. This type of fraud can be committed by both people operating as businesses and causes, but also by family members or friends.
Report mail fraud to the US Postal Inspection Service.This service is in place to act against mail fraud or spam mail. Go to Hirlanmartins99.uspis.gov and click on the Mail Fraud Complaint Form.
Report mortgage fraud and loan scams to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).Call the FBI tip line on 1-800-225-5324 or go online to Tips.fbi.gov.
Report the misuse of a social security number to the US Social Security Administration.Call the Social Security Administration's fraud hotline at 1-800-269-0271.
Contact the US Department of Education to report student loan fraud.You can email the department at or call 1-800-MIS-USED.
Report securities fraud or investment fraud to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).Submit using an online form at SEC.gov/complaint/select.shtml or call 1-800-732-0330.
Contact your state's Attorney General to report any general claim of fraud in your state.Do an internet search or look in the phone book to find the number to your state Attorney General office. Ask them about your state's regulations on reporting fraud.
QuestionWhat can I do if someone sells me a car and has withheld knowledge of a title lien and the car is repossessed?Top AnswererGo to the police with all the paperwork you do have.Thanks!
QuestionIf I paid cash up front for a job to be done, but he ran away with that cash, who do I need to file a report with?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou can file a report with the police as he stole your money.Thanks!
QuestionIs using your dead brother's identity to get loans, a job, ID, etc. considered fraud?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerOf course. Using anyone else's identity, dead or alive, as your own is fraud.Thanks!
QuestionCan a scammer do anything with just my name and email address?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerAt most she might be able to access any information on your email. I suggest you delete it and make a new one just in case, but she can't really do much beyond that.Thanks!
QuestionI just purchased something with a buy 1 get 1 free offer for .00 and was charged .29. How can I address this issue when the company's phone number just leads to being put on hold for over 30 minutes?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf you used a credit card to purchase this, call the credit card company to contest the charge. Many companies will stop payment on the charge and you won't be held responsible for the erroneous charges.Thanks!
QuestionMy husband secured a loan in my name without my permission. Is this considered identity theft?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt is in most countries. You may want to contact a lawyer. Your husband is wrong in doing this.Thanks!
QuestionMy ex is walking around with a copy of my birth certificate, ID, and social security card. I'm scared he may be using it in multiple ways, and his mother used to be my payee for my social security check! What can I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerReport him immediately. Take pictures if you can (make sure shutter sound is off) with a high-quality camera.Thanks!
QuestionMy co-worker at work used a wrong title on his name badge. Is that fraud?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf your co-worker doesn't gain anything from it, it isn't really fraud.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I report someone that has lied on their w-4's?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIn most cases you can't, however, you may contact their employer to notify them of potential fraud. Many companies take tax fraud seriously, because it can cost them thousands from audits.Thanks!
QuestionWhat do I do if I paid upfront with a check, but work was never done?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerContact your local county sheriff's office. Find a contract with their signature, times, dates, conversations with them, anything helps. Any witnesses help, too. If you don't have any of that it is your word against theirs.Thanks!
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If you need to report identity fraud, gather as much evidence as possible that the fraud occurred, including credit card statements showing purchases you didn’t make, statements from companies you don’t have an account with, or mistakes on your credit report. Contact the Federal Trade Commission online, over the phone, or by mail, and ask them to help you create an identity theft affidavit. Take that document and your evidence to your local police station and file a police report. You should also report the identity theft to the 3 major credit reporting companies.
- Not all agencies require that your fraud claim remains confidential. Read the terms or warnings before submitting a complaint, in order to become familiar with the steps that will be taken to investigate the crime.
- Make a copy of your fraud report or print it before submitting, so that you have a copy for your records, for your bank or for your insurance company.
- If you believe your life is endangered due to fraudulent activity, contact the police immediately instead of using the avenues listed above.
Video: Why Report Fraud? | Federal Trade Commission
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