Don’t store personal information or account numbers on computers with modems.
Don’t carry your Social Security number, other personal information or account numbers in your wallet or purse.
Take ATM, credit card and other receipts with you, and either save them in a safe place or destroy them.
Shred documents that could contain personal information.
Don’t give any part of your Social Security number or personal account numbers over the phone, through the mail or over the Internet unless you know who you are dealing with.
Never click on links sent in unsolicited e-mails.
Don’t use obvious passwords like your birth date, your mother’s maiden name or the last four digits of your Social Security number.
Never put your account number on an envelope or a postcard.
Keep a record of your credit card numbers, their expiration dates and the telephone numbers of each company for reporting losses.
Open billing statements promptly and compare them with your receipts. Report any mistakes in writing immediately.
DETECT ID THEFT
Be alert to signs of suspicious activity, such as:
Bills that do not arrive as expected
Bills and other accounts that have purchases you did not make
Unexpected credit cards or account statements
Denials of credit for no apparent reason
Calls or letters about purchases you did not make
INSPECT YOUR CREDIT REPORT
The law requires the three major national consumer reporting companies — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — to give you a copy of your credit report each year if you ask for it.
IF YOU SUSPECT IDENTITY THEFT
File a police report immediately.
Cancel credit cards and get new cards with new account numbers. (Federal and state law limit your responsibility to the first $50.)
Report missing cards to the three major credit reporting services.
Place a “fraud alert” on your credit reports and review them carefully. Placing a fraud alert entitles you to free copies of your report. A call to one of the companies is sufficient.
Call the security or fraud departments of each credit card company where an account was opened or changed without your approval. Follow in writing with copies of supporting documents.
Ask for verification that the disputed account has been closed and the fraudulent debits discharged.
Keep copies of documents and records of your conversations about the theft.
Report the loss to your bank. Cancel checking and savings accounts and open new ones. Stop payment on all outstanding checks.
Get a new ATM card, account number, PIN and online password.
Call your utilities, including the phone company. Inform them someone may try to get new service using your identification.
Report a missing driver’s license to the Kansas Division of Motor Vehicles and get a new driver’s license.
Report the theft to the Federal Trade Commission to help law enforcement officials across the country investigate. Contact the FTC at 877-ID-THEFT (438-4338), online at ftc.gov/idtheft, or by mail at Identity Theft Clearinghouse, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, DC 20580.