Identity Theft

What is identity theft?
Identity theft occurs when someone acquires your personal information and uses it without your knowledge to commit fraud or theft. It is a serious crime and cases are growing. An all too common example is when an identity thief uses your personal information to open a credit card account in your name.
 
No matter how cautious you are, there is no way to completely prevent identity theft from occurring. But there are ways you can help minimize your risk. This page contains valuable information on how you can protect yourself by managing your personal information wisely, the warning signs of identity theft, and what to do if you do become a victim.
 
Helpful Tips

Don't give out personal information on the phone, through the mail or over the Internet unless you've initiated the contact or are sure you know whom you're dealing with.

Don't carry your Social Security card with you; leave it in a secure place. Carry only the identification and credit and debit cards that you need.

Check your credit report
For a nominal fee, you can order a copy of your credit report from each of the three credit-reporting agencies. A copy of your credit is also available free each year from www.annualcreditreport.com. Make sure it is accurate and includes only those activities you have authorized.

By checking your report on a regular basis you can catch mistakes and fraud before they wreak havoc on your personal finances. Donít underestimate the importance of this step.

Credit Bureaus

Equifax - www.equifax.com  
To order your report, call: 1-800-685-1111
To report fraud, call: 1-800-525-6285
 
Experian - www.experian.com  
To order your credit report or report fraud, call: 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742)
 
TransUnion - www.transunion.com  
To order your report, call: 800-916-8800
To report fraud, call: 1-800-680-7289