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
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.