Minimize Your Risk of Identity Theft
Order a copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus at least once a year.
To order your report call: (800) 685-1111.
To report fraud, call: (800) 525-6285.
TDD (800) 255-0056.
Write: Equifax, P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
To order your report call: (888) EXPERIAN (397-3742).
To report fraud, call: (888) EXPERIAN (397-3742).
TDD (800) 972-0322
Write: Experian, P.O. Box 9532, Allen TX 75013
TransUnion – www.transunion.com
To order your report, call: (800) 888-4213.
To report fraud, call: (800) 680-7289.
Fax: (714) 447-6034
Write: Fraud Victim Assistance Department, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92634-6790
Helpful Hints to Protect You from Identity Theft
Place passwords on your credit card, bank and phone accounts.
Secure personal information in your home.
Ask questions about information security procedures in your workplace.
Don’t give out personal information on the phone, through the mail or the internet unless you have initiated the contact or are sure you know with whom you are dealing.
Guard your mail and trash from theft.
Use a shredder.
Before revealing any personally identifying information, find out how it will be used and secured, and whether it will be shared.
Don’t carry your social security card. Leave it in a secured place.
Give your social security number only when absolutely necessary.
Carry only the identification information and the number of credit and debit cards that you’ll actually need.
Pay attention to your billing cycles.
Be wary of promotional scams.
Keep your purse or wallet in a safe place at work.
Hints for Using the Internet
Update your virus protection software regularly or when a new virus alert is announced.
Do not download files sent to you by strangers or click hyperlinks from people you don’t know.
Use a firewall program, especially if you use a high-speed Internet connection like cable, DSL or T-1, which leaves your computer connected to the Internet 24 hours a day.
Use a secure browser – software that encrypts or scrambles information you send over the Internet – to guard the security of online transactions.
Try not to store financial information on your laptop unless absolutely necessary.
Use passwords to protect your information. Include letters and numbers.
Before disposing of a computer, you need to wipe clean the hard drive. For more information, see Clearing Information From Your Computer’s Hard Drive (http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/oig/hq/identity.html).
Look for website privacy policies.
DIRECT MAIL MARKETING – Direct Marketing Association Mail Preference Service, PO Box 643, Carmel, NY 10512 or www.the-dma.org/consumers/offmailinglist.html.
TELEMARKETING – Direct Marketing Association Telephone Preference Service, PO BOX 1559, Carmel, NY 10512 or www.the-dma.org/consumers/offtelephonelist.html or www.ftc.gov/donotcall.
E-MAIL – www.dmaconsumers.org/consumers/optoutform_emps.shtml
Federal Trade Commission – www.consumer.gov/idtheft
If You are a Victim of Identity Theft
Contact the fraud departments of each of the three major credit bureaus as soon as possible.
Close the accounts that you know or believe have been tampered with or opened fraudulently. Also, notify the bank about checks that are lost or stolen.
File a police report with your local police or the police in the community where the identity theft took place. Get a copy of the police report for your records.
Contact the Federal Trade Commission at (877) ID-THEFT or (877) 438-4338 or www.consumer.gov/idtheft