Identity Theft

 

 

Do you think someone might have stolen your identity?

 

Right away, download or order a printed copy of the Federal Trade Commission’s Identity Theft Recovery Guide. This is a free, step-by-step guide to help you report identity theft and protect your credit, finances, and personal information.

 

As you take each step, keep copies of any communications you have with companies or individuals. It is important to keep good records so you can show proof of the steps you took to recover. It is best to document the date, time, and what was said for every conversation.

You can use our Identity Theft Communication Tracking Chart to keep track of your communications.

 

picture of a gloved hand touching a Social Security Card

 

What is identity theft?

Identity theft is the unauthorized use of another person's "personal identifying information" to obtain credit, goods, services, money, or property; or to commit a crime. 

 

How can I prevent identity theft?

You can minimize the risk of identity theft by being careful with your personal information.

 

The following tips can help you prevent identity theft:

REMOVE your name from telemarketing lists by calling the National Do Not Call Registry at 1-888-567-8688 or visiting http://www.donotcall.gov/.

 

REQUEST your free credit reports annually from ALL three reporting agencies. Visit https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp or call 1-877-322-8228 to request your credit reports.

 

ALWAYS:

  • Review all bank statements and bills right away
    • If you see any charges you do not recognize, contact your bank immediately to report them
  • Keep important papers such as bank statements, mortgage paperwork, and other documents with personal information in a safe place
    • This is especially important if you will have other people in your home, such as caregivers or contractors
  • Shred any papers that contain sensitive information
  • Remove mail right away from your mailbox so others cannot steal it
  • Stop your mail if you will be away from home for more than a day or two
  • Pick checks up at your bank instead of having them mailed to you, if possible
  • Shop with online merchants that have a secure site
    • This means the web address at the top of the page should begin with "https” 
    • If a page is secure, a small graphic, such as a lock symbol, may also appear near the web address


DO NOT:

  • Carry your Social Security card in your wallet or purse
  • Carry multiple credit cards
  • Give out your personal information over the telephone, unless you made the call to a number you know, such as the phone number listed on your bank card.
  • Give out your personal information by email
  • Print your personal information on your checks



What should I do if I suspect identity theft?

 

Download or order a printed copy of the Federal Trade Commission’s Identity Theft Recovery Guide. This is a free, step-by-step guide to help you report identity theft and protect your credit, finances, and personal information.


FIRST STEPS:

  • File a police report and request a copy.
  • File a report with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at 1-877-483-4338 or https://www.identitytheft.gov/.
  • Contact your bank, credit card company, and other financial institutions to tell them about the identity theft. Close all affected accounts.
  • Keep a detailed log of who you have contacted, including the dates and times you spoke to each person.
  • Keep copies of all written communications.
  • Request a copy of your credit report from at least one of the three main credit reporting agencies. Review it and look for any accounts, addresses, or other information you do not recognize.
  • Place a fraud alert on your credit report with one of the credit reporting agencies. The agency you contact is required to tell the others.
    • Equifax: 1-800-525-6285 
    • Experian: 1-888-397-3742
    • TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289

 

Resources

Important Laws

 

Questions? Need help? Please call (561) 684-5885 and press option 3 to leave a voicemail for our Elder Rights Center. We check our voicemail daily and will respond to you as quickly as possible.

 

 

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