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Identity Theft Information

Facts About Identity Theft

Identity theft is a growing crime that affects many hundreds of thousands of citizens each year.  How can you help protect yourself from this serious crime and its devastating effects? 


  • Shred financial documents
  • Protect your social security number
  • Don't give out personal information unless you are dealing with a trusted source
  • Never click on links sent in unsolicited emails
  • Don't use an obvious password
  • Keep your personal information in a secure place


  • Be alert to signs that require immediate attention:
    • Bills that do not arrive as expected
    • Unexpected credit cards or account statements
    • Denials of credit for no apparent reason
    • Calls or letters about purchases you did not make
    • Charges on your financial statements that you don't recognize
  • Inspect your credit report - law requires the major nationwide credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) to give you a free copy of your credit report every 12 months if you ask for it.  These three companies have created a service to order your free annual credit report:
    • Online:
    • Call: 877-322-8228
    • By mail:  Annual Credit Report Request Service, PO Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281


  • Place a fraud alert on your credit reports and review the reports carefully
    • Equifax:  800-525-6285
    • Experian: 888-EXPERIAN (397-3742)
    • TransUnion: 800-680-7289
  • Contact the security or fraud departments of each company in which you have an account
  • File a police report
  • Report the theft to the Federal Trade Commission

The Federal Trade Commission is a terrific resource and reporting center for Identity Theft and other Consumer Fraud.  For additional information, contact the Federal Trade Commission's ID Theft Clearinghouse:  

  • Online:
  • By Phone: 877-IDTHEFT (438-4338), or TTY 866-653-4261
  • By mail:  Identity Theft Clearinghouse, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, DC 20580
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