Protecting Your Identity
How can you prevent becoming an identity theft victim? While no one can totally prevent this crime from occurring, here are some positive steps to take which will decrease your risk.
- Check your credit reports once a year from all three of the credit reporting agencies listed below.
- Guard your Social Security number. When possible, don't carry your Social Security card with you.
- Don't put your SSN or drivers license number on your checks.
- Guard your personal information. You should never give your Social Security number to anyone unless they have a good reason for needing it.
- Watch for people who may try to eavesdrop and overhear the information you give out orally.
- Carefully destroy papers you throw out, especially those with sensitive or identifying information. A crosscut paper shredder works best.
- Be suspicious of telephone solicitors. Never provide information unless you have initiated the call.
- Delete without replying to any suspicious email requests.
- Use a locked mailbox to send and receive all mail.
- Reduce the number of pre-approved credit card offers you receive by calling: 888-5OPT OUT (they will ask for your SSN)
- If you live in a state that allows credit freezes you may choose this option.
Identity theft is a crime in which the imposter obtains key pieces of information such as Social Security and driver's license numbers and uses them for his or her own gain. Victims are left with a tainted reputation and the complicated task of restoring their good names.
If you believe that you are a victim of identity fraud, please follow the steps below:
If you provided bank account information, you should contact Fremont Bank and ask for instructions about protecting your account.
If you entered a credit card number into a fraudulent email, or believe that your credit card has been compromised, you should contact your credit card company to cancel your account and alert them to the situation. Follow your credit card issuer's instructions for formally documenting the problem.
File a report with your local police or the police in the community where the identity theft took place. Make a copy of the report and note the date it was filed in case your credit card company or bank needs proof of the crime.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) maintains a database of identity theft cases. Information submitted to the FTC is used by law enforcement agencies to assist with investigations. To file a complaint with the FTC, use one of the following options:
Web site: www.consumer.gov/idtheft
Fraud Hotline: (202) 326-2502.
Contact Credit Bureaus
Report the fraud to all three credit bureaus listed below. Ask them to place a "fraud alert" on your file so that no new credit can be granted without your approval. Make certain to follow up with a written report after a phone call.
P.O. Box 740241 Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
Credit Report: (800) 685-1111
Report Fraud: (800) 525-6285
P.O. Box 2104 Allen, TX 75013
Credit Report: (888) EXPERIAN (397-3742)
Report Fraud: (888) EXPERIAN
760 Sproul Road
P.O. Box 390 Springfield, PA 19064-0390
Credit Report: (800) 916-8800
Report Fraud: (800) 680-7289