Preventing Identity Theft

Your Identity Belongs to You. Protect It, Too.

The best way to protect yourself against identity theft is to prevent it. If your identity is stolen, you’ll be able to lessen problems by being prepared to act quickly.

Start with Good Preventive Habits

Leave your Social Security card at home in a safe place.
Shred papers with personal information.
Reduce your credit card accounts, and carry only the cards you need.
Photocopy both sides of your credit cards and store safely.

Watch Your Accounts Closely

Review balances and transactions often by phone or online.
Make sure every transaction on your credit card statements is accurate.
Sign up with Experian, Transunion and Equifax. Stagger your requests to get a free credit report every four months or sign up for credit watch service that will report directly to you.

If Identity Theft Happens to You

Report to the police immediately and make several copies of police report.
Call your credit card companies and ask where to send a copy of the police report.
File a Federal Trade Commission ID Theft Complaint and Identity Theft Affidavit.
Have your bank place an alert on your driver’s license number and Social Security number, and freeze your account.
Call fraud units of the credit report agencies Experian, Equifax and Transunion.

Tools and Resources

Federal Trade Commission identity theft line and websites

877-438-4338
http://www.ftc.gov/idtheft
http://www.ftc.gov

Social Security fraud line

800-269-0271

Credit reporting agencies

Equifax
800-525-6285
Experian
888-397-3742
Transunion
800-680-7289