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1) Never give your PIN number or bank passwords to anyone.
2) Shred bank account or credit card statements if you intend to throw them away.
3) Keep credit and debit cards in a secure place.
4) Never provide confidential information to anyone over the phone, by mail, or by Internet unless you initiated the contact.
5) Write "SEE ID" on the signature line on credit or debit cards. Be prepared to present your ID when using these cards.
6) Routinely monitor your bank and billing statements.
7) Never lend your credit or debit cards to anyone.
8) Contact your creditors or utility companies if you do not receive a scheduled billing statement.
9) Secure your personal financial information at home.
10) Check your credit report annually.
How to order your free annual credit report:
- Failing to receive bills or other mail signaling an address change by the identity thief.
- Receiving credit cards for which you did not apply.
- Denial of credit for no apparent reason.
- Receiving calls from debt collectors or companies about merchandise or services you didn't buy.
Fraud alerts can help prevent an identity thief from opening any more accounts in your name. Contact the toll-free fraud number of any of the three consumer reporting companies below to place a fraud alert on your credit report.
- Place a fraud alert on your credit reports, and review your credit reports.
Equifax: 1-800-525-6285; www.equifax.com; P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374- 0241
Experian: 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742); www.experian.com; P.O. Box 9532, Allen, TX 75013
TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289; www.transunion.com; Fraud Victim Assistance Division, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834-6790
Worcester County Sheriff's Office: (410) 632-1112
- Close the accounts that you know, or believe, have been tampered with or opened fraudulently.
- File a report with your local police or the police in the community where the identity theft took place.
Sussex County Sheriff's Office: (973) 579-0850
Or the place of identity theft.
You can file a complaint online at www.consumer.gov/idtheft. If you don't have Internet access, call the FTC's Identity Theft Hotline, toll-free: 1-877-IDTHEFT (438-4338); TTY: 1-866-653- 4261; or write:
Identity Theft Clearinghouse
Federal Trade Commission
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20580
Consumer and Professional Organizations