Identity theft victims often don't know their information has been stolen until it's too late. Don’t let your personal information, such as your name, Social Security number or credit card number fall into criminal hands unknowingly. Reduce the chances that your identity will be used to commit fraud and other crimes.
- Tactics Criminals Use to Steal Your Information
- Stealing mail—including credit cards, credit card pre-approval offers and checks—as well as snatching wallets and purses.
- Watching you make an ATM transaction and getting your Personal Identification Number (PIN).
- Dumpster diving or rummaging through trash looking for bills or other paper with your personal information.
- Skimming by using a special card number storage device to get your credit or debit card number.
- Phishing by pretending to be your financial institution or a company and asking for your personal information by email or pop-up messages.
- Using false pretenses to obtain your personal information from financial institutions, telephone companies and other sources.
- Crimes Criminals May Commit with Your Stolen Information
- Credit card fraud using new credit cards they've opened in your name, then not paying the bills so the delinquent accounts appear on your credit report.
- Phone or utilities fraud by opening a new phone, electricity, heating or cable TV account in your name with a different address.
- Bank and finance fraud by creating counterfeit checks with your name or account number, opening a bank account in your name and writing bad checks, or taking out a loan in your name.
- Government documents fraud by using your name to obtain a driver's license or ID card with their picture, or using your Social Security number to get government benefits or a job then not paying taxes.
- How to Report Identity Theft if You're a Victim
- Contact your financial institutions immediately, including UNIFY, and all credit card issuers.
- Review your statements and report all cases of fraud.
- Contact the three major credit bureaus (below) and notify them of the situation. Request a copy of your credit report.
- File a police report and obtain a copy for yourself.
- File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov/idtheft or call 877-ID-THEFT (877-438-4338). Reporting your complaint can help law enforcement officials across the country with their investigations.
PO Box 9554
Allen, TX 75013
Equifax Information Service, LLC.
PO Box 105069
Atlanta, GA 30348
TransUnion Fraud Victim Assistance Division
PO Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92834-6799