Identity Theft

Identity theft involves acquiring key pieces of an individual's identifying information, such as name, address, date of birth, social security number, and mother's maiden name. Using this information the criminal(s) impersonate the individual by taking over bank accounts, applying for loans, credit cards, social security benefits, and establishing services with utility and phone companies.

What you can do to prevent identity theft:

  • Promptly remove mail from your mailbox after delivery.
  • Deposit outgoing mail in post office collection boxes. Do not leave in unsecured mail receptacles.
  • Never give personal information over the telephone, such as your social security number, date of birth, mother's maiden name, credit card number, or bank PIN code unless you initiated the call.
  • Shred pre-approved credit applications, credit card receipts, bills, and other other financial information you don't want before discarding them in the trash.
  • Never leave your receipts at bank counters, trash receptacles, or unattended gasoline pumps. Keep track of all your paperwork. When you no longer need it, destroy it.
  • Sign all new credit cards upon receipt.
  • Never loan your credit cards to anyone.
  • Report all lost or stolen credit cards immediately.
  • Beware of mail or telephone solicitations disguised as promotions offering instant prizes or awards designed solely to obtain your personal information or credit card numbers.

Internet & Online Services
  • When you subscribe to an on-line service, you may be asked to give credit card information. When you enter any interactive service site, beware of con artists who may ask you to "confirm" your enrollment service by disclosing passwords or the credit card account number used to subscribe. Don't give them out!
  • Do not disclose any personal data unless you receive a secured authentication key from your provider.

Credit Reports

Only contact trusted companies for your credit report. Some include: