Identity Theft

Identity Theft and Financial Crimes
Identity Theft is falsely using personal information in order to defraud.  There are some simple steps to avoid falling victim to Identity Theft and Financial Crimes.

1. Keep your social security number private.  Many companies ask for your social security number in order to positively identify the caller.  If you are uncomfortable providing this, tell them.  There are usually alternative security questions and procedures to protect your social security number.

2. Make sure you are not being watched while entering your PIN number while using your debit card.  It is a good practice to routinely and randomly change your PIN number periodically.

3. Commit passwords to memory, and do not write them down.

4. When discarding bank statements or other financial records, shred them before putting them in the trash.

5. Do not endorse checks you are not expecting.  If something seems to good to be true, it probably is.

6. Report lost or stolen checks, debit cards, and credit cards as soon as possible.

7. Contact the major credit reporting companies to check for fraudulent access to your credit cards.  The major companies are: Equifax (1.800.685.1111), Experian (1.888.397.3742) and TransUnion (1.800.916.8800).