Identity Theft Assistance
Identity theft has impacted our society exponentially over the past several years.
Tips to Protect Against Identity Theft
What are a few things that you can do to minimize the risk of becoming a victim of identity theft? Here are a few tips:
- Never provide your credit card information or social security number over the phone.
- Restrict your online purchases to credible website and vendors.
- Closely monitor your billing statements for all of your accounts.
- Be sure to physically shred all documents or billing statements before throwing them away.
- Program the 1-800 number for the fraud department for your credit card company(ies) in your cell phone.
- Consider scribing the phrase "CHECK ID" on the rear side of your credit cards.
- Maintain complex passwords for access to online bank accounts and/or credit card accounts.
- Do no respond/interact to unsolicited emails or unsubstantiated emails requesting you to "verify your account" or similar verbiage.
- Cancel any credit card accounts that you do not use on a regular basis.
- Consider purchasing a credit monitoring service for you and our family.
For Victims of Identity Theft
If you have already fallen victim to identity theft, what steps should you take? Here are a few tips:
- Contact the fraud department for all of your credit card companies and notify them of the suspected fraudulent activity.
- If you suspect that your credit cards have been compromised, demand that your currently issued cards be deactivated and that new cards be issued.
- Immediately contact one of the three major credit report bureaus and place a fraud alert on your name. It is not necessary to call all three bureau's, you only need to contact one bureau.
- Equifax: 888-766-0008
- Transunion: 800-680-7289
- Experian: 888-397-3742
- Contact any vendors associated with unauthorized purchases and demand documentation of the alleged purchases.
- Be sure to request necessary forms to file affidavits of forgery to declare charges as fraudulent.