Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft
There are some simple steps you can take to reduce or minimize the risk of becoming a victim of identity theft.
Practice Safe Internet Use
Delete spam e-mails that ask for personal information and keep your anti-virus and anti-spyware software up-to-date. Shop online only with secure web pages (check the bottom of your browser for an image of a lock or look for "https" in the address bar). Never send credit card numbers, social security numbers and other personal information via e-mail.
Destroy Private Records
Tear up or shred credit card statements; ATM, credit or debit card receipts; bank deposit receipts, loan solicitations; and other documents that contain private financial information.
Secure Your Mail
Empty your mailbox quickly and consider getting a mailbox lock if your mailbox isn’t secure. When mailing bill payments and checks, consider dropping them off at the post office or a secure mailbox.
Be Careful with Your Social Security Number
Your social security number is a major target for identity thieves because it can give them access to your credit report and bank accounts. Never carry your card with you. Instead, memorize your number and keep the card in a secure place at home or in a safe deposit box. Never write or print your social security number on checks.
Check Your Credit Report
At least once a year, obtain and review your credit report for suspicious activity. You can request a free copy of your report at www.annualcreditreport.com or by contacting any one of the three major credit reporting agencies.
Credit Bureau Contact Information
Order Credit Report: 1.800.685.1111
Fraud hotline: 1.888.766.0008
Order Credit Report: 1.888.397.3742
Fraud Hotline: 1.888.397.3742
Order Credit Report: 1.877.322.8228
Fraud Hotline: 1.800.680.7289
Beware of Scams
Always be on the defensive with your private information. Never give out personal information to telemarketers or respond to e-mails from someone claiming to be your bank, credit card issuer, a government agency, a charity or other organization. If you think the request is legitimate, contact the company directly to confirm their claims.
We encourage you to visit this informative website http://scamawareness.org for more information about common scams.