The following information is offered in an attempt to prevent identity theft and/or offer assistance to victims of identity theft:
Guard Your Numbers - Do not give out Social Security Numbers, credit card numbers, and bank account numbers over the phone unless you initiate the call and know the person or organization on the other end. Never give this information to a stranger, even one claiming to be from your bank. Do not write your personal identification numbers (PIN) down; memorize them. Refrain from printing your social security number or credit card numbers on your checks.
Report It Immediately – If you suspect you are the victim of identity theft call the police department to report it. Also call banks to report lost or stolen checks and ATM cards, call credit card companies to notify them of stolen cards or potential fraud.
Checks - Do not leave new check orders in your mailbox for extended periods of time, and verify new deliveries are complete to assure that none have been stolen. Store checks in a safe place: all cancelled or new checks should be stored in a safe place.
Secure Important Documents - Do not carry your social security card, passport, or birth certificate with you. Keep them in a secure area, such as a fire safe box or safe deposit box.
Banks and Credit Card Companies - Do not give account information anyone calling to 'verify a statement' or 'award a prize'. Banks and Credit Card Companies have your account information and do not need to ask you for it. Beware of fraudulent web sites and e-mails requesting personal information.
Guard Your Information - ATM personal identification numbers (PIN) and receipts are access tools for thieves. Do not write your PIN down. Keep it protected.
Mail Solicitations - Do not just throw pre-approved credit offers away. Shred them to prevent thieves from using them to assume your identify. Shred any other financial information before disposing.
Mailbox Protection - Do not leave your mail in the mailbox for pickup. Drop it in a secure, official drop box of the U.S. Postal Service. Thieves can use your mail to steal your identity.
Bills in the Mail - Be sure your bills are arriving on time. If not, contact the company to find out why the bill is delayed. Someone may have put a false change-of-address notice on you to divert your personal information to another address for his or her access.
Review Bills Carefully - If bills or statements include suspicious items, investigate them immediately to head off any possible fraud before it occurs.
Review Credit Reports - Periodically contact one of the major credit reporting companies to review your file and verify the information is correct. As part of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, you are entitled to an annual free credit report from each of the three nationwide consumer reporting agencies through www.annualcreditreport.com or by calling 1-877-322-8228. You can obtain a copy of your credit report at any time for a small fee through the three major credit bureaus:
Reduce Direct Marketing From Other Companies:
Visit www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/guard/index.html to learn other ways to guard against Internet thieves and electronic scams. This multimedia presentation, produced by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), provides information on steps to take to secure your computer and protect yourself from identity theft, as well as actions to take if you become a victim of identity theft.
Victims of Identity Crime:
Additional Resources on ID Theft
Last modified: Friday, February 9th, 2007 0819
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