The Ohio Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section has launched a new program to help identity theft victims correct the effects of the crime.
Identity theft occurs when someone uses another person’s personal information to commit fraud. For example, an imposter may use your bank account information or Social Security number to obtain credit, take out a loan, receive medical treatment, get identification, or otherwise pretend to be you.
Regardless of how your personal information is used, it can be difficult to recover from identity theft. To help victims with the recovery process, Attorney General Mike DeWine has established a new Identity Theft Unit within the Consumer Protection Section. If you are an identity theft victim, the unit may be able to help you fix errors on your credit reports, clear up accounts opened fraudulently in your name, or learn how to take corrective steps yourself.
The unit currently offers two programs: Traditional Assistance and Self-Help Assistance.
In the Traditional Assistance track, a consumer advocate will work on your behalf to contact credit reporting agencies, creditors, collectors, and other entities that may have information obtained under fraudulent circumstances. To seek Traditional Assistance, you first must file a police report about the identity theft. Once you’ve done so, you must submit a copy of the police report, an identity theft notification form, and an identity theft affidavit to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.
The Self-Help Assistance program allows identity theft victims to work on resolving problems on their own. To benefit from this program, you must file a self-help identity theft notification form with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. The office then will send you a guide with resources and information you can use in correcting the issues yourself.
Both the Traditional Assistance and the Self-Help Assistance programs are separate from the Attorney General’s now-defunct Identity Theft Passport Program, which the office discontinued in 2011 due to reduced demand.
To learn more about the new Identity Theft Unit and its available programs, contact the Ohio Attorney General's Office at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov