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Identity Theft

What is Identity Theft?

Identity theft is the unlawful use of another personís identification

How does Identity Theft Happen?

Dumpster Diving:† Your trash is searched for personal information

Phishing:† Unsolicited e-mails or pop-up messages pretend to be a financial institution, company or government agency in order to lure you into providing personal information

Hacking: Your e-mail and online accounts can be compromised

Skimming: When a special storage device is used on a card slot to steal credit/debit card numbers when card is processed

Stealing:† Wallet or purse is stolen.† Incoming or outgoing mail is stolen, including items such as bank statements and pre-approved credit card offers

How to Prevent Identity Theft:

1.† Never provide your personal information in response to an unsolicited request, whether it is by phone,†

†††† internet or e-mail†

2.† Protect your incoming and outgoing mail

3.† Review your statements on a regular basis and report any suspicious items immediately

4.† Shred items that contain personal information

5.† Check your credit reports annually by going to: www.annualcreditreport.com

6.† Guard your computer with current anti-virus and anti-spyware protection

7.† Report lost or stolen checks, debit card and credit cards immediately

If Youíre a Victim of Identity Theft:

1.†††† Notify your financial institution

2.†††† Contact the fraud departments of the three major credit bureaus:

Equifax: ††††††††††††††† 1-800-525-6285

Experian:†††††††††††††† 1-888-397-3742


3.†††† File a police report with your local police department

4.†††† Inform your credit issuers

For additional information and advice, call the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Identify Theft Hotline at 1-877-IDTHEFT (438-4338) or visit their ID Theft Website at www.consumer.gov/idtheft.

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