Tips to Protect Yourself from Identify Theft
Identify theft is when someone uses your personal data to impersonate you, such as your name, Social Security number, and birthdate. This is most commonly used for financial gain. Identify theft continues to be a growing problem and concern. It is smart to take steps to prevent malicious actors from using your personal information to ruin your financial life.
- Secure your Social Security Number (SSN).
- Do not share personal information such a birthdate, SSN, or bank account number.
- Create strong passwords.
- Collect mail every day. Place a hold on your mail when you are away. Stolen mail is one of the easiest paths to a stolen identity or check fraud.
- Use the security feature on your debit card to lock your card.
- Avoid public Wi-Fi networks.
- Have your name removed from credit bureau marking lists. Call toll-free 1-888-567-8688 or opt out online at www.optoutprescreen.com.
- Review your credit reports once a year. Be certain that the don’t include accounts that you have not opened. You are allowed one (1) free credit report every year from each of the three national credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. These can be pulled online at www.annualcreditreport.com
- Freeze your credit files with Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, and the National Consumer Telecommunications and Utilities Exchange for free. Credit freezes prevent someone from applying for and getting approval for a credit account or utility services in your name.
How to Report Identity Theft
Report identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) online at www.IdentityTheft.gov or by phone at 1-877-438-4338. You may also need to contact your local police department, the postal service and credit bureaus.
You may call us or come in to request more info if you feel that you are at risk of identity theft, or have had your identity stolen. We can help.
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