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Identity Theft

 Identity theft is a common term used to describe a situation in which someone steals you name, social security number, credit card numbers, bank account information or any other information without your permission to commit a crime.

 Preventing the theft of your identity is important however, the reality is that anyone could be a victim with today’s technology.  To minimize your chances of becoming a victim it is suggested that you take some precautions:


  • Never give personal information over the phone unless you initiate the call.
  • Do not write your pin numbers or social security numbers on items in your purse or wallet.
  • Use a shredder to discard pre-approved credit applications, account statements, and other vital mail.
  • Do not respond to unsolicited emails asking for verification of personal information.
  • Do not give personal information in response to unsolicited phone calls claiming you have won a prize or lottery.
  • Do not write your credit card number on a personal check when making a payment.  Write only the last four numbers.
  • Review your monthly credit account statements and credit reports for unauthorized purchases.


Immediate steps if you are a victim

  • Place a fraud alert on your credit report by calling 1-800-680-7289.
  • Contact banks or credit card companies and close all compromised accounts.
  • Contact your local police with as much documentation as possible.
  • File a complaint with the FTC by accessing the website at www.ftc.gov or call 1-877-IDTHEFT.
  • Retain emails, phone messages, or suspect documentation to assist the police in their investigation.If checks have been stolen or used have “stop payments” put on them and close the accounts.

Resources

Credit Bureaus

Equifax                                   1-800-525-6285

                                             www.equifax.com   

Experian                                 1-888-397-3742 

                                             www.experian.com        

TransUnion                              1-800-680-7258

                                             www.tuc.com