Identity Theft

 

What is Identity Theft?
Identity Theft occurs when someone steals your personal information to establish credit....purchase items...or borrow money in your name
 
How Do I Protect Myself ?
1. Safeguard your financial information such as checking and credit card numbers, and your Social Security number. Unless you know the person or organization you're dealing with, don't give it out, or even to someone claiming to be your bank.
2. Report lost or stolen checks immediately. Review new deliveries of checks to make sure none have been stolen in transit.
3. Notify your bank of suspicious phone inquiries such as those asking for account information to "verify a statement" or "award a prize."
4. Shred financial solicitations or financial statements before disposing them.
5. Deposit your mail into a secure official Postal Service collection box.
6. If regular bills fail to reach you, call the company to find out why. Someone may have filed a false change-of-address notice to divert your mail and steal your identity.
7. If your bills include questionable items, investigate immediately. This is often the first sign of identity theft fraud.
8. Avoid phishing scams. Never reply directly or click on a link in response to an e-mail that asks for personal or financial information. If you are concerned about your account contact the company or institution via a web site you know to be genuine. Remember-your bank will never contact you "out of the blue" to ask for personal financial information.
 
Free Credit Reports: Fast Facts
A new law (The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, or FACT Act) requires each of the three credit reporting companies to provide you a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. A credit report contains information about you and your credit/payments history. This information is used to evaluate your applications for credit, insurance, employment, renting a home and other purposes.
 
Where Can I Get My Free Credit Reports?
You can get your report at the the following:
Order your credit report from all three of the major credit reporting companies, since each one derives its information from different sources. Some experts advise staggering them over the course of one year to keep track of your status with a free report every four months.
You can also get a free report if:

1. A company takes adverse action against you, such as denying you credit;

2. Your report is inaccurate because of fraud;

3. You are unemployed and plan to look for a job within 60 days;

4. You are on welfare;
 
If you find inaccuracies in the report:

1. Tell the credit reporting company-they must investigate right away, and must forward your data to the company that provided the inaccurate information.

2. Tell the creditor in writing that you dispute the item.
 
An employer or prospective employer cannot get a copy of your credit report without your written consent.
 
What If I Am A Victim?
If you become a victim of identity theft you should do the following:
 
1. File a police report.
2. Contact your bank.
3. Notify the credit bureau fraud units - Addressesses and phone numbers below
Equifax Experian TransUnion
PO Box 740250 PO Box 1017 PO Box 6790
Atlanta, GA 30374-0250 Allen, TX 75013 Fullerton, CA 92634
or call 1-800-525-6285 or call 1-888-397-3742 or call 1-800-680-7289

 

4. Place a fraud alert statement on your credit report
5. Request that credit bureaus identify accouts closed due to fraud as "closed at consumer's request."
6. Request free credit reports (fraud victims are entitled to two free credit reports from each of the credit bureaus).
7. Report check theft to check verification companies.
8. Check post office for unauthorized change of address requests.

9. Follow-up contacts with letter and keep copies of all correspondence.

 
Information Security - Keeping your financial information secure is one of our most important responsibilities. We maintain physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards to protect customer information.
 
For more information on the prevention of Identity Theft visit:
www.FTC.gov and click on consumer protection or call 877-FTC-HELP