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You Have the Power to Stop Identity Theft

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You Have the Power to Stop Identity Theft Powered By Docstoc
					If you disclose sensitive information in
a phishing attack, contact one of the three
                                              You can fight identity theft
                                              Here’s how:                                             You Have
                                                                                                     the Power
major credit bureaus listed below and         •	 Never provide personal financial
discuss whether to place a fraud alert on        information, including your Social Security
your file. A fraud alert will help prevent       number, account numbers or passwords over


                                                                                                       to Stop
thieves from opening a new account in            the phone or the Internet, if you did not
your name.                                       initiate the contact.




                                                                                                       Identity
Equifax                                       •	 Never click on the link provided in an
800-525-6285                                     e-mail you think is fraudulent. In addition
P.O. Box 740250                                  to stealing your personal information, the link


                                                                                                        Theft
Atlanta, GA 30374                                may contain a virus that can contaminate your
www.equifax.com                                  computer.

Experian                                      •	 Do not be intimidated by an e-mail or caller
888-397-3742                                     who suggests dire consequences if you do
P.O. Box 1017                                    not immediately provide or verify financial
Allen, TX 75013                                  information.
www.experian.com
                                              •	 If you are unsure whether a contact is
TransUnion                                       legitimate, go to the company’s Website by
800-680-7289                                     typing in the site address or using a page you
P.O. Box 6790                                    have previously book marked, instead of using
Fullerton, CA 92634                              a link provided by the e-mail.
www.transunion.com
                                              •	 If you fall victim to identity theft, act
                                                 immediately to protect yourself. Alert your
                                                 financial institution. Place fraud alerts on
                                                 your credit files. Monitor your credit files and   A message from the federal bank,
                                                 account statements closely.                        credit union and thrift regulatory
                                                                                                    agencies
                                              •	 Report suspicious e-mails or calls to              • Board of Governors of the Federal
                                                 the Federal Trade Commission through                 Reserve System
                                                 the Internet at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/
                                                                                                    • Federal Deposit Insurance
                                                 edu/microsites/idtheft/, or by calling               Corporation
                                                 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338).
                                                                                                    • National Credit Union
                                              To learn more about keeping your money safe,            Administration
                                              visit the http://www.mymoney.gov/scams.               • Office of the Comptroller of the
                                              shtml Website.                                          Currency
                                                                                                    • Office of Thrift Supervision
You Can Fight Identity Theft
Stop identity theft                              contact us immediately about your account.”           2. If you are unsure whether a contact is                company or financial institution. Follow-
There is a type of identity theft using the      The e-mail may also state that unless you                legitimate, contact the financial institution.        up in writing and supply copies of
Internet called “phishing.” Pronounced           provide certain confidential information your            You can find phone numbers and Websites on            supporting documents.
“fishing,” that’s exactly what thieves are       account will be deactivated or closed. The e-mail        the monthly statements you receive from your
doing, fishing for your personal financial       will encourage you to click a link to go to the          financial institution, or you can look up the       •	 It	is	important	to	notify	credit	card	
information. They want your account              institution’s Website.                                   company in a phone book or on the Internet.            companies and financial institutions in
numbers, passwords, Social Security                In a phishing scam, you could be redirected            The key is that you should be the one to               writing. Send your letters by certified
numbers, and other confidential information      to a phony Website that may look exactly like            initiate the contact, using information that you       mail, return receipt requested, so you
so they can use your financial accounts or       the real thing. Sometimes, in fact, it may be            have verified yourself.                                can document when and what the
run up bills on your credit cards.               the company’s actual Website. In those cases,                                                                   company received. Keep copies of your
   In the worst case, you could find yourself    a pop-up window will quickly appear for the           3. Never provide your account information                 correspondence and enclosures.
a victim of identity theft. With the sensitive   purpose of collecting your financial information.        and/or password over the phone or in
information obtained from a successful             You may be asked to update your account                response to an unsolicited Internet request.        •	 Report	all	suspicious	contacts	to	the	
phishing scam, these thieves can take out        information or to provide information for                A financial institution would never ask you to         Federal Trade Commission through
loans or obtain credit cards and even a          verification purposes: your Social Security              verify your account information or confirm             the Internet at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/
driver’s license in your name. They can          number, your account number, your password,              a password online. Thieves armed with this             edu/microsites/idtheft/, or by calling
do damage to your financial history and          or the information you use to verify your                information and your account number can                1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338).
personal reputation that can take years          identity when speaking to your financial                 help themselves to your money.
to unravel. But if you understand how            institution, such as your mother’s maiden name                                                               •	 Check	with	your	state	Attorney	General’s	
phishing works and how to protect yourself,      or your place of birth.                               4. Review account statements regularly to                 office to find out if state law requires the
you can help stop this crime.                      If you provide the requested information,              ensure all charges are correct. If your account        police to take reports for identity theft.
                                                 you may find yourself a victim of identity               statement is late in arriving or does not arrive,      Check the Blue Pages of your telephone
How phishing works                               theft.                                                   call your financial institution to find out why.       directory for the phone number, or check
Typically, you’ll receive an e-mail that                                                                  If your financial institution offers electronic        www.naag.org for a list of state Attorneys
appears to come from a reputable company         How to protect yourself                                  account access, check your account activity            General.
that you recognize and may do business           1. Never provide your personal information in            online regularly to catch suspicious activity.             If possible, file a report with local police
with, such as your financial institution. In        response to an unsolicited request, whether                                                                  or police in the community where the
some cases, the e-mail may appear to come           it is over the phone or on the Internet. E-mails   What to do if you fall victim                             identity theft took place. Obtain a copy
from a government agency, perhaps a federal         and Internet pages created by phishers may         •	 Contact	your	financial	institution	immediately	        of the police report or the report number.
financial institution regulatory agency.            look exactly like the real thing. They may even       and alert it to the situation.                         It can help you deal with creditors who
   The e-mail will probably warn you                have a fake padlock icon that ordinarily is used                                                             need proof of the crime. If the police are
of a serious problem that requires your             to denote a secure site. If you did not initiate   •	 Close	accounts	you	think	have	been	tampered	           reluctant to take your report, ask to file a
immediate attention. It may use phrases such        the communication, do not provide any                 with or opened fraudulently. Call the security         “Miscellaneous Incidents” report.
as “Immediate attention required,” or “Please       information.                                          or fraud department of each associated