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Identity theft victims have the right under Washington law (RCW 9.35.040) and Federal law (15 USC. § 1681g(e)) to obtain copies of records from businesses, etc, related to the fraudulent use of the victim’s identity. The Federal Trade Commission (citing Federal law) and the Washington Attorney General’s Office (citing Washington law) each provide sample letters for victims to request records from businesses. Both sample letters include language for a victim to authorize law enforcement to take receipt of the records should the victim wish to use it. Remember to include copies of applicable enclosures, depending on which law you cite to request the documents (information included in the links above).
Additional information and tips are available on the Washington Attorney General’s website and the Federal Trade Commission’s website.
Your information can be taken from many outlets. Included is a list of the most common ways your information could have been stolen.
Identity thieves often obtain banking, tax or medical information by stealing mail.
The same documents stolen from the mail can be targeted by burglars. Stealing purses and wallets from shopping carts or during car prowls give identity thieves access to victims’ information as well.
Suspects rummage through trash looking for banking, tax or medical information that contains personal information.
Identity thieves may target individual victims with “phishing” emails, pretending to be a legitimate business emailing a customer to convince the victim to reveal personal information. Other times suspects hack into businesses’ systems to obtain information on large numbers of victims at once.
Here are some ways you can tell if your information has been compromised or stolen:
Avoid theft by following these helpful tips: