Identity Theft Banner

Have You Been a Victim of Identity Theft?

There are a number of important steps that need to be taken to aid an investigation and, most importantly, to avoid further victimization. This process can seem lengthy, but it is necessary to avoid years of problems related to accounts and charges made by an unauthorized user.

  1. Start a file.
    • Keep copies of everything you receive or send off and the information gathered.
  2. Contact all police departments in the areas that the suspect made the fraudulent transactions to make a police report with that jurisdiction.
    • Make these calls as soon as possible to help with any evidence which is time-sensitive. If you have already made a police report with the Roanoke County Police Department, provide that agency with the case number.
  3. Document all phone calls made to credit agencies, police departments, or any other person involved in this process.
    • Record the name of the person, phone number and date and time of your contact.
    • Also, document any case or inquiry numbers that they provide you.
  4. Write a letter to all businesses involved even though you made a phone call to them. Send this letter by certified mail with a return receipt requested. Be sure to keep a copy of the letter and return receipt.
  5. Stop payment on any checks that may have been stolen.
    • Close all accounts related to your account that was fraudulently used.
    • Open new accounts using passwords and PINs that are not the same as the old accounts.
    • File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission
  6. Contact one of the three credit agencies below.
    • Equifax, Consumer Fraud Division - PO Box 740256, Atlanta, GA 30374 800-525-6285
    • Experian, National Consumer Assistance - PO Box 9530, Allen, TX 75013 888-397-3742
    • Transunion, Fraud Victim Assistance - PO Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834 800-680-7289
      • Request a fraud alert on your file and any other affected family member.
      • One agency should update the other two agencies.
      • An initial fraud alert is done for 90 days. It is your responsibility to contact the agency every 90 days to continue the alert.
  7. Annual Credit Report is the ONLY authorized source to get your free credit report under Federal Law. For additional information, you can refer to the Federal Trade Commission's webpage on accessing Free Credit Reports.
  8. If you are unsure how someone obtained your information (ie. theft, burglary, etc.), then you may consider internet-related theft, which could include wireless hacking, internet scams, eBay fraud, or even mail theft. You may need to secure computing devices with software including spyware, wireless security, antivirus, and firewalls.
  9. According to the Fair and Accurate Reporting Transactions Act (FACT ACT), you have the right to obtain documents relating to the fraudulent transactions made or accounts opened. You must ask for this in writing.
    • You may have to provide a police report, case number, and proof of identity or affidavit.
    • This may assist the Police Department in the investigation of the offense.
    • The businesses will usually give you information on your own account before they will give it to the Police Department without a subpoena.
  10. The Virginia Attorney General's Office may also be able to assist you if you have been a victim of Identity Fraud. Information may be found on their website under Frequently Asked Questions (click on Identity Theft).
    • You can apply for an Identity Fraud Passport that you can carry and present to law enforcement or other individuals who may challenge you about your identity should you become the victim of identity crime.
  11. Additionally, if an investigation by the Roanoke County Police results in the conviction of a suspect for a fraud-related crime, it may be possible for you to receive restitution for loss that you suffered as a result of the crime. The Victim-Witness Coordinator at the Roanoke County Commonwealth's Attorney may be contacted at 540-387-6174 for further information.
  12. If you have had a theft of mail, social security number or card, passport or driver's license, or other special documents, then you may need to make additional contacts.
  13. Document any unusual situations that you recall over a period of time. This may include phone calls, unusual visits to your home, and a recent change of address, vacations or trips, or loss of important paperwork. Some of these may lead us in a direction to help the investigation.
  14. To obtain a copy of a Roanoke County Police report, you will need to come in person to the Records Unit of the Police Department.
    • Copies of reports cannot be mailed or electronically transmitted.
    • The Police Department headquarters is located at 5925 Cove Road, Roanoke, VA 24019. That is also our mailing address.
    • Be prepared to show a picture ID.
    • The request can be made during business hours, Monday through Friday (excluding holidays) between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm. It is suggested that you call ahead.
    • The copy you receive may not include investigative details or suspect information; but, it will contain sufficient information to document that the crime was reported to the police.
  1. Criminal Investigations
    5925 Cove Rd
    Roanoke, VA 24019

    Records Unit:

    Victim-Witness Coordinator:

    Office Hours
    Monday through Friday
    8:00 am to 5:00 pm