What is identity theft?
Identity theft occurs when skilled identity thieves, without your knowledge, gain access to a piece of your non-public personal information and use it to commit fraud.
How does identity theft occur?
Access to your personal information is gained through a variety of means. For example:
- Stealing records from businesses or other institutions
- Rummaging through your trash (dumpster diving)
- Obtaining credit reports by abusing access or posing as an employer
- Stealing credit and debit card numbers
- Stealing wallets or purses containing identification
- Completing change of address forms to divert your mail to another location
- Stealing personal information from your home
- Scamming information from you by posing as a legitimate business person
What should I do if I think I could be a victim of identity theft?
- Notify your banking institution immediately
- Close any accounts that have been tampered with or opened fraudulently
- Place a fraud alert on your credit reports and review your credit reports
- File a report with your local police or the police in the community where the identity theft took place
- File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
You may also want to call 1-877-IDTHEFT, the Federal Trade Commission's toll-free ID Theft Hotlink, where counselors help consumers who want or need more information about dealing with the consequences of identity theft.
For additional up-to-date information on how to protect yourself from identity theft, please visit the FDIC or the Federal Trade Commission websites.
You should also contact the three major credit bureaus and have them place a fraud alert on your file.
| Equifax || || Experian || || TransUnion |
| 1-800-766-0008 || || 1-888-397-3742 || || 1-800-680-7289 |
| www.equifax.com || || www.experian.com || || www.transunion.com |