How to Protect Yourself from Online Fraud – Identity Theft
Keep your personal information private and secure. If you are being asked to provide your personal information, make sure you know who you are dealing with and use a shredder to destroy any personal documents that are no longer useful.
Please use passwords on your credit card, bank, and phone accounts. Avoid using easily available information like your birth date, your Social Security number or your phone number.
Don’t give out personal information on the phone, through the email, or on the Internet unless you’ve initiated the contact or are sure you know who you’re dealing with.
Deposit your outgoing mail in post office collection boxes or at your local post office. If you’re planning to be away from home and can’t pick up your mail, call the U.S. Postal Service at 1-800-275-8777 to request a vacation hold.
To obstruct an identity thief who may pick through your trash or recycling bins to capture your personal information, tear or shred any documents that contain your personal information. To opt out of receiving offers of credit in the mail, please call 888-5-OPTOUT (888-567-8688).
Carry only the identification information and the credit and debit cards that you’ll actually need when you go out.
Place fraud alerts on your credit report. Fraud alerts can help prevent an identity thief from opening any more accounts in your name. Close the accounts that you know, or believe, have been tampered with or opened fraudulently.
File a report with your local police. When you file a report, provide as much information as you can about the crime, including the date, time, and place of the identity theft and the fraudulent accounts opened.
File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. You can file a complaint online at www.ftc.gov/idtheft or call toll-free: 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338).
Exercise your rights to review your credit report and report fraudulent activity. Contact the credit bureaus listed below:
1-800-525-6285 or www.equifax.com/*
P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
1-888-397-3742 or www.experian.com/*
P.O. Box 9531, Allen, TX 75013
1-800-680-7289 or www.transunion.com/*
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92834-6790
Social Security Number Theft and Misuse
Social Security Administration: