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Identity Theft: What To Do If It Happens To You - Part I

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If you think you are a victim of fraud, contact your credit card issuers to close your account(s), and call your bank to put an alert on your checking accounts.

Empty your wallets of extra credit cards (and Ids) ¡V or better yet, cancel the ones you don¡¦t really use and keep a list of the ones you do use.

Never give out personal information over the phone, such as your date of birth, mother¡¦s maiden name, credit card number(s), social security number or bank PIN code, except to someone you know or to an established firm.

Shred pre-approved credit applications, credit card receipts, bills and other financial information you don¡¦t want before tossing them in the trash.

Financial institutions or businesses that handle personal information should protect consumer¡¦s privacy by storing such material securely and ensuring it has limited access. It is essential to shred such material before disposing of it.

Consider removing your name from the marketing lists of the three major credit reporting bureaus:
• Experian 1-888-397-3742
• Equifax 1-800-219-1251
• TransUnion 1-800-241-2858
This reduces the number of pre-approved applications you receive in the mail.

Order your credit report twice a year to check for accuracy or fraudulent usage.
Consumer¡¦s Guide to Identity Fraud by the US Department of Justice

Who to call for help

• Report credit card fraud to the three major credit reporting bureaus:
Experian 1-888-397-3742
Equifax 1-800-525-6285
TranUnion 1-800-680-7289

• If you have had stolen or bank accounts set up fraudulently in your name; call these check guarantee companies:
Telecheck 1-800-366-2425
National Processing Co. 1-800-525-5380
They can flag your file so that the counterfeit checks will be refused.

• If your social security number was used fraudulently, report the problem(s) to the:
Social Security Administration¡¦s Fraud Hotline at 1-800-269-0271
In extreme cases of fraud, it may be possible for you to get a new SSN.

• If fraudulent charges appear on your account call:
Consumer Credit Counseling Service at 1-800-388-2227, they will help in clearing false claims from your credit report.

• If you are a victim of identity theft that involves the U.S. Mail, call your nearest Postal Inspection Service Office, and your local police.

Re-printed from National Association of Credit Managers Web-site.

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