Report Identity Theft
What is identity theft?
Identity theft is a fraudulent act committed or attempted using someone's personal identifying information without their permission.
Personal information includes:
- Social Security number
- Driver's License number
- Account numbers
Are you an identity theft victim?
If you believe you are a victim of identity theft, take the following actions immediately:
- Place a Fraud Alert on your credit report. Creditors will then have to follow certain procedures before opening an account. Here is the list of credit bureaus and their contact information.
- Equifax: 1.800.525.6285
- Experian: 1.888.EXPERIAN (397.3742)
- TransUnion: 1.800.680.7289
- Contact the Security or Fraud Departments of each company where there is an impacted account.
- Contact Security Service at 1.888.415.7878.
- File a police report with your local police or the police in the community where the identity theft took place.
What are common methods of stealing identities?
- Data Breach/Card Compromise is a security incident in which sensitive, protected or confidential data is copied, transmitted, viewed, stolen or used by an individual unauthorized to do so.
- Phishing is the use of fake emails or text messages that appear to come from legitimate sources requesting personal and financial information.
- Pharming obtains personal information by directing users to a spoofed website where personal information is captured.
- Skimming is the theft of credit or debit card information typically completed by use of a device (skimmer) that captures information from the magnetic strip of the card.
- Malware is the use of appealing websites, desirable downloads, and compelling stories to lure you to links that include viruses and spyware designed to steal personal information, send spam, and commit fraud.
- Computer Hacking involves unauthorized access to computer networks, systems and databases to obtain personal data, often in large quantities.
- Dumpster Diving is obtaining personal information by digging through the trash looking for statements, receipts or other information.
- Address Change/Mail Forwarded results in your mail, such as account statements, bills, and credit card offers being forwarded.
- Old-fashioned stealing of purses, wallets, credit card and bank statements, and pre-approved credit card offers to obtain personal information.
How can you safeguard your identity?
- Shred financial documents and paperwork with personal information before you discard them.
- Protect your Social Security number. Don't carry your Social Security card in your wallet or write your Social Security number on a check.
- Don't give out personal information on the phone, through the mail, or over the Internet unless you know who you are dealing with.
- Avoid disclosing personal financial information when using public wireless connections.
- Check your credit report at least annually to identify any accounts or usage you do not recognize. To obtain your free annual credit report, visit annualcreditreport.com or call 1.877.322.8228.
- Consider buying an identity protection product.