Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft

Home Services Security Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft

 

Your identity is the most precious thing you have, making It a prime target for thieves.  In efforts to protect your identity, you must be alert at all times when providing personal information to someone.

What is identity theft?

Identity theft happens when someone uses your Social Security number or other personal information to open new accounts, make purchases, or get a tax refund.

What are the warning signs?

There are many ways that you might discover that someone is using your information. You might get a notice from the IRS or find unfamiliar accounts on your credit report. You might notice strange withdrawals from your bank account, get bills that aren’t yours, or get calls about debts that you don’t owe.

What do you do if your identity has been stolen?

If you see one of these warning signs of identity theft, act quickly. Taking these steps will help you limit the damage. IdentityTheft.gov will guide you through each step. 

  • Call the companies where you know fraud occurred.
  • Place a fraud alert on your credit reports and get copies of your report.
  • Report identity theft to the FTC.
  • File a report with your local police department.
  • Then, take a deep breath and begin to repair the damage. Depending on your situation, your next step might be closing accounts opened in your name, or reporting fraudulent charges to your credit card company. IdentityTheft.gov can help — no matter what your specific identity theft situation is. 

Here are a few things you can do to protect yourself :

  • Never give out personal information, including social security number, address, date of birth, bank account number, etc.
  • Shred or otherwise destroy unused credit card offers and old statements.
  • Store personal information and statements in a safe place.
  • Protect PINs and passwords.
  • Promptly remove incoming mail.
  • Pay attention to billing cycles. Contact the appropriate entity if you don't get a bill or statement.
  • Review checking and credit card statements immediately and contact us regarding any questionable transactions.
  • If you think you have been a victim call the Federal Trade Commission's Identity Theft Hotline at 1-877-ID-THEFT (438-4338).
  • Do not e-mail account numbers for security reasons.
  • For additional assistance contact us at (815) 493-2631.