If you have lost your purse or wallet, the Valdosta State University Police wishes to assist you in every way possible. Since your purse/wallet (containing various items of personal identification, credit cards, and checks) was lost, you are at risk for criminal victimization through personal identity theft.  Personal identity theft sometimes begins with a lost or stolen purse or wallet.

Personal identity theft is the unauthorized use of another person's personal identifying information to: obtain credit, goods, services, money, or property; or commit a felony or misdemeanor. Personal identifying information means a person's name, address, telephone number, driver's license number, social security number, place of employment, employee identification number, mother's maiden name, demand deposit account number, savings or checking account number, or credit card number. If you feel that you may be a victim of identity theft, contact the Federal Trade Commission or call toll-free 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338).

We are concerned with ensuring that you take appropriate steps to decrease your chance of becoming a victim of identity theft.  We suggest the following:

  • File a police report and ask for a copy. You will need a copy to verify that a report was made.  Lost and Found Form 
  • Purchase a notebook and begin by making notations about the date, time, location, and other important information regarding the loss of your belongings.
  • It is likely that you will need to make several telephone calls to protect yourself from becoming a victim of identity theft. For each call, record the date, time, telephone number, person's name, purpose of call, what was accomplished, what follow-up is needed, and other relevant notes. Also, write down any questions you asked and the answers received.
  • Keep copies of all letters you write and all forms you submit. Mail everything by certified mail. Keep these records in a safe place. Be consistent and methodical, and take action immediately! Begin by contacting all three credit report bureaus.
  • Contact the three major credit bureaus: TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. Request that a fraud alert be place on your file immediately. You will be assigned a reference or confirmation number to use in future communications. Your name and address will be removed from prescreened mailing lists for a length of time specified by each credit bureau. Each credit bureau is different, so follow their instructions explicitly. They may ask you to write a letter (see sample letter on disk) and enclose copies of three pieces of identification before they mail your report.  Be sure to ask how long the alert will be in effect and how to extend it, if necessary. 

Business Hours: Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Telephone: 1-800-525-6285 or 1-888-766-0008

Business Hours: Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Telephone: 1-888-397-3742 or 1-800-311-4769

Business Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Telephone: 1-800-680-7289

Order a copy of your credit report from each of the credit bureaus every three to six months for the first year. After the first year, order copies semi-annually or at least annually. Remember, if the person(s) who stole your identity has not been apprehended and/or your belongings have not been recovered, your identity still remains in their possession and you are subject to future victimization. Or, your imposter may have sold your information to someone else who may attempt to use it at some later date.

If your credit cards are lost or stolen, contact the agency that issued each credit card and cancel the cards. You can request a new card at that time and you should also change your password. Most credit card agencies limit your liability to $50.00 if you notify them about a lost or stolen card in a timely manner.  

  • American Express: 1-800-992-3404
  • MasterCard: 1-800-826-2181
  • Discover: 1-800-347-2683
  • Visa: 1-800-336-8472

If your ATM or Debit card has been lost or stolen, report this theft to your bank. Close this account and open a new account number and new password. Do not use your old password. Act quickly to ensure that you are not held liable for the fraudulent funds obtained by your imposter.

If checks were lost or stolen, cancel the accounts immediately. Notify your bank of the number and payee on the last check you wrote. Place "stop payments" on the remaining checks. Ask your bank to notify the check verification company they use. Here is a list of some of these companies:

  • National Check Fraud Service: 1-843-571-2143
  • CrossCheck: 1-800-843-0760
  • Equifax Check Systems: 1-800-437-5120
  • International Check Services: 1-800-526-5380
  • SCAN: 1-800-262-7771
  • TeleCheck: 1-800-710-9898
  • Chex Systems: 1-800-428-9623

It may be necessary that YOU contact the major check verification companies. If so, request each company to notify retailers in their database to not accept the lost checks.

If your driver license has been lost or stolen, apply for a duplicate at a Department of Motor Vehicles office. Identification documents are required to issue a replacement license, such as a certified birth certificate, marriage license, and photo identification cards issued by a governmental agency. Contact the Georgia Department of Motor Vehicles office at 229-333-5385 for a complete list of acceptable documents and specific requirements.

If your Social Security card is lost or stolen, contact the Social Security Administration.

If your keys are lost or stolen, it’s recommended that you change the locks on your residence hall, home, and car. Remember, if someone finds your keys in conjunction with your personal information, they have both your address and access to your residence and vehicle.

If your passport is lost or stolen, notify the US State Department. To be safe, whether you have a passport or not, write the passport office to alert them to anyone ordering a passport fraudulently.

If your long-distance calling card has been lost or stolen, or you discover fraudulent charges, cancel the account and open a new one. Provide a password that must be used any time the account is charged.

If you suspect that your address may have been fraudulently charged, notify your local postal inspector. Call the U.S. Postal Office (800-275-8777) to obtain the phone number. Find out where fraudulent credit cards were sent. Notify the local Postmaster for that address to forward all mail in your name to your own address. You may also need to talk with the mail carrier. 

If you have any additional questions, or if you believe you may be a victim of identity theft, please contact the Valdosta State University Police (229)333-7816 for additional instructions.