Protect Your Identity
Helpful Hints to Prevent Identity Theft
- Do not sign the back of your credit cards. Instead, put “PHOTO ID REQUIRED”.
- When writing checks to pay on your credit card accounts, DO NOT put the complete account number on the “Memo” 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 will not have access to it.
- Never have your Social Security number printed on your checks. If you have a PO Box use that instead of your home address.
- Copy the contents of your wallet. Do both sides of each license, cred card, 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 copy in a location that is easy to access and safe.
If your Wallet is Lost or Stolen
- Credit cards should be cancelled immediately! The key is having the toll free numbers and card numbers handy (Your copy of your wallet contents from above).
- File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where your credit cards, etc., were stolen. This proves to credit providers you were diligent, and this is a first step toward an investigation (if there ever is one).
- Call the three national credit reporting organizations immediately to place a fraud alert on your name and also call the Social Security fraud line 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.
Trans Union: 800-680-7289
Social Security Administration (fraud line): 800-269-0271
If you feel you’re a victim of identity theft, please click here for more information.