Identity theft is one of the fastest growing white-collar crimes in the nation. It involves criminally using another individuals personal information, which is acquired through various means, including ones own mailbox. The identity thief needs only to get your name, address, and bank or credit card account numbers, or your Social Security number, etc., to take over your identity. Do you think you might be a victim of identity theft? Click here .
To order your credit report online, Click here.
A few pointers to help you avoid becoming a victim.
- Do not reveal personal information unless you know how it will be used or shared.
- Deposit outgoing mail at the post office and remove delivered mail from your mailbox immediately.
- Carry only the identification and bankcards that you need.
- Do not give out personal data over the phone, through the mail, or on the internet unless you have initiated the contact.
- Shred or tear up your charge receipts, credit card solicitations, expired cards, statements, checks or other sensitive personal information.
- Give your Social Security number only when absolutely necessary. Ask to use other identifiers.
- Don’t carry your Social Security number in your wallet. Do pick your own passwords and PINs (personal identification numbers) that will be tough for someone to figure out.
- Review your bank and credit card account statements promptly.
- Safely store extra checks, credit cards, and documents that list your social security number.
- Contact your financial institution immediately if there is a discrepancy in your records or if you notice something suspicious, like a missing payment or unauthorized withdrawals.
- Contact your credit card company if your bill does not arrive on time.
- Once a year, check your credit record with the three major credit bureaus. To order your report, call the following toll-free numbers
Trans Union: 800-888-4213