Safeguard Your Identity Against Fraud
Identity theft is when someone obtains and uses your personal information such as your name, Social Security Number, date of birth, or other identifying personal information without your permission to commit fraud or other crimes. Typically, a fraudster steals your information to get credit cards, accounts and possibly use it to obtain health insurance to get medical care and many other things.
A new and growing type of identity theft is called Synthetic Identity Theft. This is when fraudsters combine real and fake information to create a new identity. For example, they use your Social Security Number and combine it with a different name, address and phone number to open new accounts, acquire credit cards or other goods and services using your Social Security Number. Synthetic identity theft can take a little longer to detect which can lead to even more of a financial impact.
Ways to Help Prevent Identity Theft
- Documentation that you need to discard that contains your personal information such as your social security number, bank account number, medical information or other sensitive information. should be shredded.
- Limit the items you carry in public, such as credit cards. In the event you lose your wallet or purse it will limit your exposure and the number of companies you have to call.
- If you are away or traveling, contact your local post office to temporarily hold your mail. This can prevent someone from stealing your mail such as a bank statement.
Are you a victim of identity theft?
Click on the tabs below and see how to report your identity theft to various agencies.
Contact all three credit reporting bureaus and consider placing a credit freeze to help prevent fraudsters from opening new accounts.
- Equifax Credit Information Services, Inc.
- Experian information Solutions, Inc
- Trans Union
The FTC maintains the Identity Theft Data Clearinghouse, the federal government’s centralized identity theft complaint database, and provides information to identity theft victims.
- Call 877-ID-THEFT (877-438-4338) or visit http://www.ftc.gov/idtheft
- Additional resources from the FTC are avaialble:
Contact the Social Security Fraud Hotline
Contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)'s Internet Crime Complaint Center to report identity theft at IC3.GOV
For more educational information and resources, check out the FDIC's Consumer Resource Center.