Identity theft occurs when someone steals your personal information to establish credit, purchase items or borrow money in your name. Here are ways to protect yourself:
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- Protect your Social Security number (SSN), credit card and debit card numbers, PINs (personal identification numbers), passwords and other personal information.
- Report lost or stolen checks immediately.
- Notify your bank of suspicious phone inquires such as those asking for account information to "verify a statement" or "award a prize".
- Shred financial solicitations or statements before disposing of them.
- Deposit your mail into a secure, official Postal Service collection box.
- Keep your financial trash "clean."
- Keep a close watch on your bank account statements and credit card bills, if regular bills fail to reach you, call the company to find out why.
- If your bills include questionable items, investigate immediately.
- Avoid phishing scams. Never reply directly or click on a link in response to an email that asks for personal or financial information. Remember-we will never contact you via email to ask for personal financial information.
- Get your free credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com or call 877-322-8228.
- For additional information go to www.fraud.org/identity_theft