Identity theft is an ever growing problem throughout the country and anyone can fall victim to this crime. Here are a few tips to help protect yourself from becoming an identity theft victim along with helpful information should this happen to you!
IDENTITY THEFT LINKS:
- Identity Theft in General
- IRS Telephone & Email Scams
- Email Phishing Scams
- Resolving Specific Identity Theft Problems
A Few helpful Tips:
- The next time you order checks have only your initials (instead of first name) and last name put on them. If someone takes your check book they will not know if you sign your checks with just your initials or your first name but your bank will know how you sign your checks.
- When you are writing checks to pay on your credit card accounts, DO NOT put the complete account number on the "For" line. Instead, just put the last four numbers. The credit card company knows the rest of the number and anyone who might be handling your check as it passes through all the check processing channels won't have access to it.
- Put your work phone # on your checks instead of your home phone. If you have a PO Box use that instead of your home address. Never have your SS# printed on your checks.
- Make photocopies of all important personal items in your wallet (be sure to copy both sides of each license, credit cards, etc.). You will know what you had in your wallet and all of the account numbers and phone numbers to call and cancel. Keep the photocopy in a safe place.
- When traveling abroad, carry a photocopy of your passport.
Here's some critical information to limit the damage in case this happens to you or someone you know:
- Cancel your credit cards immediately. The key is having the toll free numbers and your card numbers handy so you know whom to call. Keep those where you can find them easily.
- File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where it was stolen.
- Call the three national credit reporting organizations immediately to place a fraud alert on your name and Social Security number. The alert means any company that checks your credit knows your information was stolen and they have to contact you by phone to authorize new credit.
The phone numbers are:
- Equifax: 1-800-525-6285
- Experian (formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742
- Trans Union: 1-800-680-7289
- Social Security Administration (fraud line): 1-800-269-0271
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- Call our tips hotline: (973) 227-9290
Please call 2-1-1 to report any suspicious activities
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