Actions to Help Reduce Your 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.
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. You are legally entitled to one free report per year from each of the three reporting agencies above. 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.
Obtain More INFORMATION About Identity Theft and Ways to Protect Yourself
- Visit http://www.experian.com/credit-advice/topic-fraud-and-identity-theft.html for general information regarding protecting your identity.
- The Federal Trade Commission has an identity theft hotline: 877-438-4338; TTY: 1-866-653-4261. They also provide information on-line at www.ftc.gov/idtheft.