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Identity Protection

An identity thief obtains some piece of your sensitive information and uses it without your knowledge to commit fraud or theft.

What do they steal?
• your account or credit card numbers
• your income
• your Social Security number (SSN)
• your name, address, and phone numbers

Identity Theft is the fastest growing crime in America, affecting approximately 900,000 new victims each year!

People whose identity has been stolen can spend months or years—and their hard-earned money—cleaning up the mess.

Identity theft can result in lost job opportunities, being refused loans for education, housing or cars, or even being arrested for crimes they did not commit.

 

Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

General
1. Review your credit report from the three credit bureaus once a year

2. Place passwords on your credit card, bank, and phone accounts

3. When asked for mother's maiden name-use a password instead

4. Don't give out personal information on the phone, through mail, or over the Internet unless you've initiated the contact or are sure you know who you're dealing with.

Mail
1. Guard your mail and trash from theft.

2. Place outgoing mail in post office collection box.

3. Remove mail from your mailbox promptly

4. Stop your mail if you're going to be away from home.

5. Be conscious of when you normally receive routine financial statements.

6. Contact the sender if they are not received in the mail.

7. Before revealing information, ask how it will be used and secured, and if it will be shared with others.

8. Keep your Social Security number (SSN) in a secure place and only give out your SSN when absolutely necessary.

9. Limit the identification and the number of credit and debit cards that you carry to what you actually need.

10. Cancel cards that you don't use and maintain a list of the ones you do

11. Keep your purse or wallet in a safe place at work.

Paperwork
1. Secure personal information in your home

2. Shred all critical information

3. Keep track of your paperwork. Never leave receipts laying around. When you no longer need it, destroy it.

4. Memorize your Social Security number and all your passwords

Plastic Cards
1. Sign all new credit/debit cards upon receipt

2. Save all card receipts and match them against your monthly bills

3. Notify card companies and financial institutions of any change of address or phone number.

4. Never loan out your cards

5. If you applied for a new card and it has not arrived in a timely manner, call the bank or credit card company.

6. Report lost or stolen cards immediately

7. Closely monitor expiration dates on cards. Contact them if replacement cards are not received prior to the expiration dates.

8. Be aware of solicitations disguised as promotions

 

How to Report Identity Theft

If you suspect that your personal information has been used to commit fraud or theft, take the following steps right away.

Be sure to:
• Follow up all calls in writing
• Send your letters by certified mail, return receipt requested
• Document what the company received and when
• Keep copies in your files

1. Place a fraud alert on your credit reports and review your credit reports.
As soon as the credit bureau confirms your fraud alert, the other two credit bureaus will automatically be notified to place fraud alerts on your credit report, and all three reports will be sent to you free of charge.

Equifax —To report fraud,
call: 800-525-6285, and write:
PO Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241

Experian —To report fraud,
call: 888-397-3742 (EXPERIAN), and write:
PO Box 9532, Allen, TX 75013

TransUnion —To report fraud,
call: 800-680-7289, and write:
Fraud Victim Assistance Division,
PO Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834-6790

Once you receive your reports, review them carefully.

What to look for:
• Inquiries you didn't initiate
• Accounts you didn't open
• Unexplained debts on existing accounts
• That your SSN, address(es), name or initial, and employers are correct.

2. Alert the Credit Union to flag your accounts and contact you to confirm any unusual activity. Request a change of PIN

3. Close any accounts that have been tampered with or opened fraudulently

4. File a police report with your local police or police in the community where the identity theft took place.

5. File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission

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