Identity Theft Information
If you suspect that your personal information has been hijacked and misappropriated to commit fraud or theft, take action immediately and contact:
|Credit Bureaus & Local Police|
|Federal Trade Commission||1-877-IDTHEFT|
- Individual identity theft is at an all time high and major companies have seen their confidential client and employee files hacked and exposed. In many of these cases it is simply a lack of awareness.
- You can help reduce the risk of becoming a victim by managing your personal information wisely, cautiously and with an awareness of the potential ramifications of not doing so.
- Before revealing personal identifying information, find out how your personal information will be used and if will be shared with others.
- Ask if you have a choice about the use of your information: Can you choose to have it confidential? Give your Social Security number only when it is absolutely necessary.
- Minimize the identification information and the number of cards you carry.
- If your ID or wallet has been stolen, notify the creditors by phone immediately. Contact the credit bureaus and ask that a fraud alert be placed in your file.
- Order a copy of your credit report twice a year. Make sure it is accurate and includes only the activities you have authorized.
- Minimize the identification information and number of credit cards you carry.
- Never carry a 'cheat sheet' containing your passwords, PIN or bank account numbers.
- Whether bagged on the sidewalk or tossed into a dumpster, your trash can be a target of any thief who wants it badly enough. A potential gold mine of personal information trash can provide the same type of information that your mailbox contains.
- Your home is a huge reservoir of information.
- Consider a professionally installed, monitored home security system.
- Invest in a safe or strong box and consider using a secure mailbox.
- Consider not listing your residence telephone number in the telephone book. Consider not listing your professional qualifications or affiliations. (e.g. Dr., Atty.)
- All applications contain most if not all of the personal information needed to assume your identity.