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Identity Theft & Fraud Prevention

Protect Your Identity

Identity theft is the fraudulent crime in which a thief steals a person's personal identifying information such as full name, a Social Security number, mother's maiden name, date of birth or account number. They can then use your information to fraudulently apply for credit, file taxes, get medical services, open fraudulent new credit card accounts, charge existing credit card accounts, write fraudulent checks, open new bank accounts or obtain new loans.

Steps to Prevent Identity Theft

Take these pre-cautionary steps to protect your personal information:

  • Do not share important personal or banking information unless you initiated the contact and trust who you are dealing with
  • Pay attention to statements. Ensure all charges are what you authorized. If you see unauthorized transactions, notify your financial institution. 
  • Protect your online information. Create complex passwords that identity thieves cannot guess easily. Also install firewalls and virus-detection software on your home computer. 
  • Check your credit report annually. There are resources where you can view your credit report for free.
  • Protect your paper information. Collect your mail promptly, store important documents securely and when disposing of important documents or cards, be sure to shred the information.
  • Don't fall to common scams or unsolicited requests for personal information. Unexpected emails or calls from the IRS are typically a scam. Report these emails or calls immediately.

How to Recover from Identity Theft

If you are a victim of Identity Theft, report it immediately!

  • Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Once filing the ID theft complaint with the FTC, you will have an affidavit assigned to you.
  • Contact your local police department to file your ID theft complaint. Once filing the complaint with your local police department, you will get a police report.
  • These two documents together are your Identity Theft Report and will aide you in resolving the issue.
  • Notify the credit bureaus. By letting the credit bureaus know you have been a victim of fraud, they can add fraud alerts that make any business or financial entity verify you before they can open accounts, loans, etc.

Experian: 1-888-397-3742 | www.experian.com

Equifax: 1-800-685-1111 | www.equifax.com

TransUnion: 1-800-888-4213 | www.transunion.com

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