Let’s say you learn that an identity thief took out credit in your name, pretending to be you. To straighten it out, you might want to get records about the identity theft from the company where it happened. The law gives you that right — in fact, it’s Section 609(e) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
Having details about the theft and the thief may help you show, for example, that the thief borrowed money, not you. It also may help you or law enforcement identify the thief. You or law enforcement might need, for example, the identity thief’s bank account number or their contact information to document the crime or clear your name.
To get information related to your identity theft, send your request in writing to the company where the fraud took place. They have 30 days to give you those records, free of charge. Along with your request, send these three things:
- Proof of your identity, like a copy of your driver’s license or other valid form of identification
- A completed FTC Identity Theft Report from IdentityTheft.gov.
- A police report about the identity theft from your local police department. When you file the police report, bring your ID, the FTC Identity Theft Report, and any information you have about the incident with you.
IdentityTheft.gov has more resources to help you recover from identity theft, including a sample letter to use as you take steps to fix problems the theft may have caused. If you have problems getting the records from banks and lenders, let the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) know.
If you own a business, read Businesses Must Provide Victims and Law Enforcement with Transaction Records Relating to Identity Theft for more information about complying with the law.