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Avoid ID Theft
Identity theft costs you time and money! Protect yourself.
Avoid ID Theft

Avoid Becoming a Victim of Identity Theft

Identity Theft is reportedly one of the fastest growing consumer crimes in the U.S. It happens when your personal information is stolen and used without your knowledge to commit fraud or other crimes. Identity theft can cost you time and money. It destroys your credit and your good name. Here are a few basic steps you should follow to avoid being a victim of identity theft:
  • Watch your account information and billing statements. Know your billing cycles and review monthly billing statements carefully. Make sure that all charges, drafts or withdrawals were authorized. Store your personal information in a safe place. Shred old credit card and ATM receipts, old account statements and unused credit card offers before you discard them.
  • Protect your PIN numbers and other passwords. Be careful not to carry too much personal information in your wallet or purse (i.e.: social security card, bank and credit card numbers with passwords and PINs). Avoid using information that can be easily obtained (such as your mother's maiden name, your birth date, the last four digits of your social security number or your phone number). Don't leave your receipts behind or throw them in the trash where thieves can easily retrieve them.
  • Do not give out personal information over the phone if you did not initiate the call.
  • Always exclude your social security number from your checks. Give it out only if absolutely necessary or ask to use another identifier.
  • Make sure your drivers license and social security numbers are not the same.
  • If you have not received a bill or statement you were expecting after the usual mailing time, contact the company or creditor.
  • Never place outgoing mail in your personal mailbox. Use the post office or postal mail drops.
  • Regularly order a copy of your credit reports to check for any unusual or unknown items. Visit or call 1-877-322-8228 to order you free annual credit report.
  • Destroy all pre-approved credit card applications if you are not going to take advantage of them.
If you become a victim of Identity Fraud, immediately take the following steps:
1. Contact each of the credit reporting agencies to request a fraud alert be placed in your credit file. 2. Contact your local police or sheriff's department and make a report.
3. Notify all of your financial institutions and credit grantors.
4. Contact Government Agencies:
  • The Federal Trade Commission: 1-877-438-4338

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