Programs & Services

If you are a Victim of Identity Theft

Sometimes, an identity thief can strike even if you've been very careful about keeping your personal information to yourself. If you suspect that your personal information has been hijacked and misappropriated to commit fraud or theft, take action immediately! Keep a record of your conversations and correspondence.

Your First Three Steps

First

  • Contact the fraud departments of each of the three major credit bureaus.
  • Tell them that you are an identity theft victim. Request that a "fraud alert" be placed in your file, as well as a victim's statement asking that creditors call you before opening any new accounts or changing your existing accounts. This can help prevent an identity thief from opening additional accounts in your name. At the same time, order copies of your credit reports from the credit bureaus. Credit bureaus must give you a free copy of your report if your report is inaccurate because of fraud and you request it in writing. Usually, calling one of the bureaus is sufficient. The first bureau will forward it to the others and you will get a copy of your credit report from each. Watch your mail for these items as they contain a lot of information that could be used for fraud. If possible, have them delivered to a post office box.

Second

  • Contact the creditors for any accounts that have been tampered with or opened fraudulently.
  • Creditors can include credit card companies, phone companies and other utilities, banks and other lenders. Ask to speak with someone in the security or fraud department of each creditor and follow up with a letter.

Third

  • File a report with your local police.
  • Get a copy of the police report in case the bank, credit card company, or others need proof of the crime. Even if the police can't catch the identity thief in your case, having a copy of the police report can help you when dealing with creditors. In addition, if your checks have been stolen or misused, stop payment or close the account. Also contact the major check verification companies to request that they notify retailers using their databases not to accept these checks, or ask your bank to notify the check verification service with which it does business.
National Check Fraud Service: 1-843-571-2143
TeleCheck: 1-800-710-9898 or 927-0188
CrossCheck: 1-707-586-0551
Equifax Check Systems: 1-800-437-5120
International Check Services: 1-800-526-5380
Identity Theft Pamphlet

Numbers you will need:

Equifax - www.equifax.com
Order your report at 800-685-1111 or write:
P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
To report fraud call 800-525-6285 and write:
P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
Experian - www.experian.com
Order your report at 888-397-3742 or write:
P.O. Box 949, Allen, TX 75013-0949
To report fraud call 888-397-3742 and write:
P.O. Box 949, Allen, TX 75013-0949
Trans Union - www.tuc.com
Order your report at 800-916-8800 or write:
P.O. Box 1000, Chester, PA 19022
To report fraud call 800-680-7289 and write:
Fraud Victim Assistance Division
P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92634
For further information: US Government website

Protect Yourself from Phishing Scams and Identity Theft

Have you heard about phishing (pronounced fishing)?

Phishing refers to fraudulent communications designed to deceive the recipient into divulging personal information such as social security numbers, credit card info, usernames and passwords, etc. Often, a well known brand name is hijacked to give the impression that the communication was sent by a bank, e-retailer, credit card, or service provider. These fraudulent emails often create a false sense of urgency and instruct the recipient to "verify your information" or "update your account" and threaten that "your service will be cancelled". Victims are unknowingly directed to seemingly credible websites where they are asked to provide valuable personal information that can be used for identify theft.

Another possibility is that the attack is designed to install malicious software onto the user's computer for identify theft or other purposes. By clicking on the link in the email, the recipient enables the imposter website to download software to their computer that can do any number of things, including render the computer completely useless.

Take a Test

Can you tell the difference between a real website and a phishing website?

Kiplinger's Interactive Test

Special Thanks to Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine for furnishing this interactive test.

Are You at Risk for Identity Theft?

Click on the picture below to Test Your "Identity Quotient"

Identity Theft Quiz

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