|Information You Need to Protect
- Credit and Debit Cards
- Personal Identification Numbers (PINS) and Passwords
- Unused Check Stock
- Social Security Cards
- Insurance Cards
- Driver's License and Number
- A mailbox that can be locked with an opening for delivery of mail is advised.
- Remove your mail from your mailbox as soon as possible after it is delivered. When traveling, make arrangement to have it picked up daily or have the Post Office hold your mail.
- Utilize your financial institution's automatic bill payment service to eliminate the need to mail payments.
Sharing Personal Information
- Never give personal information to someone over the telephone unless you have initiated the call and have a very good reason to trust him or her.
- Never send your personal information, credit card numbers or account numbers, via e-mail or instant message.
- Do not be taken in by individuals or companies that state you have won a prize, but you first need to provide personal information before they can send it to you. This is probably a scam.
Disposing of Information
- Shred everything that contains personal information.
- Put your trash out as close to pickup time as possible. Tightly cover your trash containers so that any information cannot be scattered by the wind. Account Numbers, Log-In Names, PIN Numbers and Passwords.
- Do not carry PIN numbers in your purse or wallet or write them on your card.
- Use a combination of numbers, upper and lower case letters and special characters for PIN #'s and passwords (don't use something easily determined, i.e., 11111, 123456, family birth dates, telephone number, or your name, spouse's name, or child's name).
- When entering PIN numbers into an ATM, point of sale machine or telephone, make yourself aware of those around you and be sure to hide the numbers as you are entering them.
- Never share you log-on name or password with anyone at any time.
- Never use your Social Security Number or other personal numbers as an account number. If a business asks this of you, decline.
- If you are transacting business over the Internet, always keep a copy of the receipt and transaction information.
- Always make your Internet purchases are over a secure connection. You can tell you are on a secure site by the padlock icon in the bottom right hand corner of your computer screen and you will see an "s" next to the http: on the address line.
- Always check with the Better Business Bureau before doing business with a company that you do not know, especially on-line.
Debit and Credit Cards
- Don't carry any more credit or debit cards with you than necessary in the event your purse or wallet is stolen.
- Store unused cards a secure place. Do not leave them in your car, even if it is locked. Do not leave them in your hotel or motel room.
- Watch carefully as clerks swipe your card for a "double swipe" to prevent a dishonest clerk from submitting a phony charge later.
- Leave your wallet out of your purse or pocket until you have received your card back from the clerk.
- Never lend your credit or debit card to anyone.
- If you have lost your card(s), do not be fooled by a "Good Samaritan" caller who says they have found your card(s) and will mail them to you right away. Call the issuer immediately.
- Maintain a list of all credit card and personal information. This list should include credit card numbers, credit card company numbers, bank numbers and credit reporting agency contact information. Keep this information in a safe place that can be accessed easily.
- Always shred your credit card, debit card and ATM receipts. Never discard them at the point of sale.
- If you are receiving courtesy checks from your credit card company, you may want to request they discontinue sending them unless requested and shred the unused ones.
- If you would like to not receive any more pre-approved credit card offers, call 1-888-567-8688. This service is offered jointly by the three credit bureau agencies.
- Examine your credit card, debit card, and bank statements immediately when you receive them to determine whether there are any unauthorized transactions. Report any that you find immediately to your financial institution.
- Obtain a copy of your credit report annually from all three major credit bureaus and review for accuracy.
What to do if you suspect that you have been a victim of identity theft
- Close accounts that you suspect have fraudulent activity or that you have been informed are at risk.
- Maintain a file with detailed information regarding all fraudulent transactions and the steps youhave taken to resolve the problem. This should include copies of telephone bills showing calls made and their cost. Receipts of certified mailing of letters, copies of letters sent, etc.
Contact the following
- Your financial institution
- Your local law enforcement agency
- If you suspect mail has been stolen, contact the US Postal Service at (800) 275-8777
- Contact the Federal Trade Commission at 877-IDTHEFT 1-877-382-4357
- Contact the Consumer Response Center FTC at http://www.ftc.gov/
- Contact the Nebraska Attorney General's Office Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-727-6432 or 1-402-471-682 or at http://www.ago.state.ne.us/.
- Contact the three major credit bureaus and ask them to put a "Fraud Alert" on your credit report. This notifies any potential credit grantors of the problem and to require more information about your identity than usual to avoid issuing credit to an identity theft.
Credit Bureau Information
Consumer Fraud Division
PO Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30374
National Consumer Assistance
PO Box 9530
Allen, TX 75013
Fraud Victim Assistance Department
PO Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92834
Fraud Alert Forms can be found at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/credit/affidavit.pdf
FDIC Information and Press Releases http://www.fdic.gov/news/news/press/2004/pr9304.html
Federal Trade Commission
877-IDTHEFT (877) 438-4338
Privacy Guard: 800-374-8273
Social Security Administration Fraud Line: 800-269-0271
CheckRite : 800-766-2748