Fraud alert caution sign

Identity Theft Protection

Identity theft can happen to anyone.  

Knowing how to protect yourself and knowing what to do if it happens will ensure a swift recovery.
What is identity Theft?
Identity theft is a serious crime which occurs when your personal information is stolen, such as, names, addresses Social Security numbers, financial account numbers and other personal information.  This information is used without your knowledge to commit fraud or other crimes like account takeover, loan applications, credit/debit cards and even major purchases. 
  1. Shred financial documents and paperwork with personal information before you discard them.
  2. Protect your Social Security number.  Don’t carry your card in your wallet or write your number on a check. 
  3. Don’t give out personal information on the phone, through the mail, or over the Internet unless you know the other party.
  4. Never click on links sent in unsolicited e-mails; instead, type in a web address you know.  
  5. Use firewalls, anti-spyware, and anti-virus software to protect your home computer; keep them up-to-date.  Visit for more information about online security.
  6. Don’t use an obvious password like your birth date, your mother’s maiden name, or the last four digits of your Social Security number.
  7. Keep your personal information in a secure place at home, especially if you have roommates, employ outside help, or are having work done in your home.
  8. Detect suspicious activity by routinely monitoring your financial accounts and billing statements.
  9. Inspect your credit report.  Credit report contain information about you, including what accounts you have and  your bill pay history. 
  1. By telephone: (877) 322-8228
  2. Online:
  3. By mail. Print out the order form
  • 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.
Immediate Steps:
  • Place a fraud alert on your credit reports, and review your credit reports.

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.

  • Equifax: 1-800-525-6285;; P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374- 0241 
  • Experian: 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742);; P.O. Box 9532, Allen, TX 75013 
  • TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289;; Fraud Victim Assistance Division, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834-6790 

  • 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.
Worcester County Sheriff's Office: (410) 632-1112
Sussex County Sheriff's Office: (973) 579-0850
Accomack County Sheriff's Office:  (757) 787-1131
Or the place of identity theft.

For more information on identity theft please visit,