Identity Theft And Ways to Prevent It

Identity theft can have long lasting effects on your finances and credit. To help prevent these crimes, here are some basic steps you can take to protect yourself.

• Look at your credit report annually for unfamiliar items.

• Use caution when giving out personal information. If you didn’t initiate the call, don’t give it out.

• Check your mail promptly.

• Shred bills, statements, receipts and old credit/ATM cards.

• Store your social security card in a safe deposit box or another safe place.

• Review your financial transactions often and report suspicious activity immediately.

• Don’t use obvious passwords

• Only shop at online sites you are comfortable with.

• Immediately report a lost or stolen credit/ATM card.

• Memorize your PIN, don’t write it down.

• Always get a receipt when you buy something.

• Use a drive-up ATM when possible.

Numbers to remember

• To file an identity theft complaint:

     o Federal Trade Commission Identity Theft Response Center 1-877-438-4338

• Credit Agencies

     o Equifax 1-800-525-6285

     o Experian 1-888-397-3742

     o TransUnion 1-800-680-7289

• To report possible fraud involving your Social Security Card Number:

     o Social Security Administration ID Theft Hotline 1-800-269-0271