Protect yourself from identity theft by using these practices:

  • Use passwords on your credit card, bank and phone accounts that only you will know; try to use different passwords for each account
  • Do not carry your Social Security card with you
  • Limit the number of credit cards you carry in your purse or wallet
  • Shred credit card statements or pre-approved credit card offers
  • Do not write your PIN on your ATM, debit, or credit cards
  • Ensure websites are secure prior to submitting your credit card number
  • Do your homework to ensure the business or website is legitimate
  • Attempt to obtain a physical address, rather than a P.O. box
  • Be aware of missed bills which could indicate your account has been taken over
  • Be cautious of scams requiring you to provide your personal information
  • Never give your credit card number over the phone unless you make the call
  • Review your credit statements monthly for any fraudulent activity
  • Report unauthorized transactions to your financial institution or credit card company as soon as possible
  • Review a copy of your credit report at least once a year – visit
  • Consider placing a credit freeze on your credit report.  Visit the Federal Trade Commission for additional information.

If you have become a victim of Identity Theft:

  • File a police report with your local police or police in the jurisdiction where the identity theft took place. Obtain a copy of this report for your creditors.
  • If you feel you have become a victim of fraud related the U.S. Mail, file a report
  • Contact the credit bureau agencies to report the fraud and request that a Fraud Alert be placed on your file
  • Request a copy of your credit report and notify the credit bureau agencies of any discrepancies
  • Close the accounts that you know or believe have been fraudulently accessed or opened
  • Contact your credit card companies to request a new account number and credit card
  • Keep a written record of all correspondence with the police, credit bureau agencies and financial institutions
  • If your social security number has been used by someone else you can contact the Federal Trade Commission to file a report at 1-877-438-4338 or
  • Fill out the Identity Theft Victim’s Complaint and Affidavit
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