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Identity Theft Prevention

Check Your Credit Report

Check your credit report with each of the three major credit bureaus.  Make sure the information contained in the report is accurate and includes only those activities you've authorized.  Many experts suggest doing this on an annual basis.

Equifax Experian TransUnion

Website:

www.equifax.com

www.experian.com

www.transunion.com

To Order Report:

800-685-1111

888-397-3742

800-888-4213

TDD:

800-255-0056

800-972-0322

877-553-7803

Address:

PO Box 740241
Atlanta, GA
30374-0241

5909 Peachtree
Donwoody Rd
Atlanta, GA
30328

PO Box 6790
Fullerton, CA
92634-6790

 

Place Passwords on your Credit Card, Bank, and Phone Accounts

Avoid using passwords that are easy to figure out such as dates of birth, your phone number, and names of family.  Even your mother's maiden name may no longer be a good idea to use.  Passwords with seven characters using both numerical and alpha characters are said to be the best encryptions.

Secure your Personal Information in your Home or Office

If you have roommates, have hired outside help or having work done on your home, ensure they do not have access to your personal information or papers.  In the office these should always be in a secured location.  At work, find out what the procedures are for information about you:  Who has access, are they in a secured place and how are they disposed of.

Be on the Alert Protecting Your Identity

  • Don't give personal information over the telephone, you don't know who you're talking to.

  • Guard trash from theft by tearing up or shredding documents containing personal identity information.

  • Deposit outgoing mail into a post office collection box rather than leaving it in an unsecured mailbox.

  • Promptly remove any mail from your mailbox.

  • Only give your Social Security number when it is absolutely necessary.  Ask to use other identifiers.

  • Check your credit card and bank statements as soon as they arrive, don't procrastinate!

  • If you haven't received your credit card or bank statement by its normal arrival date, contact the bank or card issuer.

Use Common Sense

  • Don't carry your Social Security card, passport, or birth certificate with you unless you have a specific need to.

  • Be aware of your surroundings when entering your PIN at an ATM.  Is there anyone watching a little too closely?

  • If it sounds too good to be true...you're probably right!