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