Tips for reducing chances of identity theft

Place a 90-Day Fraud Alert on Your Credit file

An initial 90 day security alert indicates to anyone requesting your credit file that you suspect you are a victim of fraud. When you or someone else attempts to open a credit account in your name, increase the credit limit on an existing account, or obtain a new card on an existing account, the lender should takes steps to verify that you have authorized the request. If the creditor cannot verify this, the request should not be satisfied.  You may contact one of the credit reporting companies below for assistance.

 

Equifax

1-800-525-6285

www.equifax.com

 

Experian

1-888-397-3742

www.experian.com

TransUnion

1-800-680-7289

www.transunion.com

  • PLACE A SECURITY FREEZE ON YOUR CREDIT FILE

If you are very concerned about becoming a victim of fraud or identity theft, a security freeze might be right for you.  Placing a freeze on your credit report will prevent lenders and others from accessing your credit report entirely, which will prevent them from extending credit. With a Security Freeze in place, you will be required to take special steps when you wish to apply for any type of credit.  This process is also completed through each of the credit reporting companies.

 

  • Order Your Free Annual Credit Reports

Visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call 877-322-8228.

Once you receive your credit reports, review them for discrepancies. Identify any accounts you did not open or inquiries from creditors that you did not authorize.  Verify all information is correct.  If you have questions or notice incorrect information, contact the credit reporting company.

 

  • MANAGE your personal information

Take steps such as: carrying only essential documents with you; being aware of whom you are sharing your personal information with and shredding receipts, statements, and other sensitive information.

 

  • USE TOOLS FROM CREDIT PROVIDERS

Carefully review your credit reports and bank, credit card and other account statements. Be proactive and create alerts on credit cards and bank accounts to notify you of activity.   If you discover unauthorized or suspicious activity on your credit report or by any other means, file an identity theft report with your local police and contact a credit reporting company.