How to protect against Identity theft

Identity theft occurs when a person’s identity is stolen for the purpose of opening credit accounts, stealing money from existing accounts, applying for loans, even renting apartments or committing crimes.

We already reviewed tips on how to protect your identity from Identity theft. The following ten tips are additional tips on how to protect against identity theft.

1. Check your credit report regularly. Additionally, consumers are entitled under federal law to get one free comprehensive disclosure of all of the information in their credit file from each of the above three national credit bureaus once every 12 months. You may request your free annual credit report by visiting or calling (877) FACTACT.

2. Shred your confidential mail.

3. Keep account numbers, Person Identification Numbers (PINs), credit and bank cards and checks in a secure location.

4. Don’t select a PIN that has personal significance, such as a birthday or address and change your PIN frequently.

5. Memorize your PIN and do not share your account numbers or PINS with friends or family.

6. When conducting transactions on the Internet make sure the web sites you visit are secure and reputable. Also, utilize anti-virus software to detect malicious messages and firewalls to prevent hackers attempting to take control of your computer.

7. Always take your receipts with you from the ATM or store.

8. Never give your confidential information, including your account number and social security number to callers claiming they are from your financial institution or claiming that you have won a prize or to people unknown to you.

9. Delete unsolicited or unknown email.

10. If you are a victim of identity theft, contact the credit bureaus immediately.

Credit Bureaus

Equifax        (800) 525-6285
Experian      (888) 397-3742
TransUnion (800) 680-7289

TeleCheck (800) 710-9898
Federal trade Commission ID Theft Hotline (877) 438-4338
Social Security Fraud Hotline (800) 269-0271
United States Postal Service online