Identity Theft is one of the fast rising crimes in the world. Identity Theft occurs when a criminal uses another person’s personal information for their personal gain. Identity Theft includes the misuse of Social Security Numbers, credit cards, mail fraud and even internet scams to name a few.

The identity thief has many ways to gain access to your information.  It can be obtained from collected mail sitting in your mailbox, personal information carelessly thrown in the garbage, dishonest retail or restaurant employees or by theft of your wallet or pocketbook.

*Do not provide personal information simply because someone  
  asks for it or because it is asked for on a form, questionnaire or
  product registration card.

*Do not give out your social security number freely.

*Promptly remove mail from your mailbox.  If going on vacation,
  make arrangements for someone to take the mail for you or call
  the U.S. Postal Service at: 1-800-275-8777 and request a
  “vacation hold” for your mail.

*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 number, unless you initiated the
  call. Make sure you release this information only when necessary.

*Order credit bureau credit reports once a year to check for
  fraudulent activity or other discrepancies.

*Save all credit card receipts and match them against your
  monthly bill.

*Never leave receipts at an ATM, store counter, self-serve gas
  pump or in trash cans, Keep track of all paperwork and destroy
  those you no longer need.

*Memorize your social security number and passwords.  Never
  write them down or carry them in you wallet or pocketbook.

*Be cautious of e-mails and instant messages that are 
  unsolicited and request you to confirm credit card numbers,
  passwords or other personal information.  Con artists often pose
  as agents of banks, on-line shopping services or internet
  providers attempting to obtain this information to commit fraud.

What To Do if You are a Victim of a Theft
or Lose Your Purse or Wallet

  • Cancel credit cards immediately – keep account numbers and toll free numbers handy.
  • File a police report immediately to prove diligence on your part.
  • Call the three national credit-reporting organizations immediately to place a fraud alert on your name and Social Security Number:

    Equifax 1-800-525-6285
    Experian (formerly TRW) 1-800-301-7195
    Trans Union 1-800-680-7289
    Social Security Administration fraud line 1-800-269-0271