How can I protect myself from fraud?
Here are some positive steps to take which will decrease your risk of fraud and identity theft:
- Check your credit reports once a year from all three of the credit reporting agencies. If you suspect your identity has been stolen or you find something suspicious on your credit score, you may be able to freeze your credit to prevent further damage.
- Protect your Social Security number (SSN). When possible, don't carry your Social Security card with you. You should never give your Social Security number to anyone unless they have a good reason for needing it. Don't put your SSN or driver’s license number on your checks.
- Guard your personal information. Watch for people who may try to eavesdrop and overhear the information you give out orally, and carefully destroy papers you throw out, especially those with sensitive or identifying information. Use a locked mailbox to send and receive all mail.
- Be suspicious of unexpected calls or emails. Never provide information unless you have initiated the call, and delete any suspicious email requests without replying. If you think you’ve received a fraudulent email, please forward it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Reduce the number of pre-approved credit card offers you receive by calling: 888-5OPT OUT (they will ask for your SSN).
- Logout from online banking in public computers after each use. If you are using a shared computer, logout from your profile after each use.