Identity Theft

What is Identity Theft?

Identity theft is defined as the unauthorized use of an individual’s personal identifying information or documents. This can include the use of a name, address, Social Security number, or date of birth.

Tips for Avoiding Identity Theft

  • Avoid responding to unsolicited requests for personal information in the mail, over the phone, or online
  • Be alert for individuals attempting to view your PIN number in stores or at an ATM
  • Immediately report lost or stolen items containing personal information such as:
    • Debit/credit cards
    • Driver’s licenses
    • ID cards
    • Passports
    • Purses
    • Social Security cards
    • Wallets
  • Keep track of statements from financial institutions; ensure that all purchases have been authorized
  • Only give personal or credit/debit card information to trusted websites
  • Protect your Social Security number (never carry your card in a wallet or purse)
  • Secure your home wireless internet network with a password
  • Store personal information in a secure location, such as a lock box or a safe
  • Use different passwords for every online account
  • Use a document shredder to discard receipts or other paperwork containing personal information

Victims of Identity Theft

If you suspect that you are the victim of identity theft, do the following:

  • Contact Credit Bureaus at:
    • Equifax Phone: 1-800-525-6285
    • Experian Phone: 1-888-397-3742
    • TransUnion Phone: 1-800-680-7289
  • Report the incident to your financial institution and close any account that has been tempered with or opened fraudulently
  • Contact your local law enforcement agency and file a police report, obtain copies of the police report to submit to creditors and financial institutions
  • File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission by calling 1-877-423-4338