EQUIFAX web site ID Theft Info by wuxiangyu

VIEWS: 10 PAGES: 6

									               Identity Theft Information from EQUIFAX Web Site
                                                  www.equifax.com


Preventing Identity Theft
It's unfortunately not possible to prevent identity theft and credit fraud entirely. But by managing your
personal information carefully, and with a full understanding of its importance, you can substantially
reduce the likelihood that it will happen to you. The following tips show you how.

How to Outsmart Identity Thieves

                                              Whether on the phone, by mail, or on the Internet, never give
Be careful about giving out personal information.
anyone your card number, Social Security number, or other personal information for a purpose you don't
understand. Ask to use other types of identifiers when possible, and don't carry your SSN card. Be sure to
keep it in a secure place.

                 To stop a thief from going through your through trash or recycling bin to get your
Protect your mail.
personal information, tear or shred your charge receipts, credit applications, insurance forms, bank
statements, expired charge cards, and pre-approved credit offers. Deposit outgoing mail in post office
collection boxes or at your local post office. Promptly remove mail from your mailbox after it's delivered.
If you plan to go away, call the U.S. Postal Service at 800/275-8777 and request a vacation hold.

Guard your credit cards.Minimize the information and the number of cards you carry in your wallet. If you
lose a card, contact the fraud division of the credit card company. If you apply for a new credit card and it
doesn't arrive in a reasonable period, contact the issuer. Watch cashiers when you give them your card for
a purchase. Also, when you receive a new card, sign it in permanent ink and activate it immediately.

                            Contact creditors immediately if your bills arrive late. A missing bill could
Pay attention to billing cycles.
mean an identity thief has taken over your credit card account and changed your billing address.

                                        Especially if you are having service work done in your home,
Safeguard personal information in your home.
employ outside help, or have a roommate.

                                               Be sure to verify that records are kept in a secure location,
Find out who has access to your information at work.
and are accessible only to employees who have a legitimate reason to access it.

Be smart about passwords and PINs.   Memorize your passwords and personal identification numbers instead
of carrying them with you. Avoid using easily available information like your mother's maiden name,
your birth date, the last four digits of your SSN or your phone number, or a series of consecutive
numbers.


Other Important Facts

Zero responsibility doesn't mean zero problems.Because credit card companies must limit consumer
responsibility to $50 in most cases of fraud, and because many new cards include "zero responsibility"
protection, some people think there's no reason to worry about credit fraud. But in its most advanced form
-- identity theft -- credit fraud can cause wide-ranging long-term problems. Identity thieves can use your
personal information to take over your credit accounts and open new ones. They may even use your good
credit to get a job, take out a car loan, or rent an apartment.

                                  Checking your credit report can help you catch mistakes and fraud before
Check your credit report regularly.
they wreak havoc on your personal finances. Make sure your report is accurate and includes only those
activities you've authorized. It's also a good idea to review your credit report from each of the three major
credit reporting agencies every year -- it's possible that information is reported to one but not the others.

Get the 3-in-1 Credit Report and see your credit history as reported by the three major credit reporting
agencies. You can also subscribe to Equifax's Credit Watch™ credit report monitoring service, and get an
early alert to new and suspicious activity on your report. Credit Watch also gives you $2,500 (after a $250
deductible) in identity theft insurance.

Did You Know?

Although the problem is nationwide, states with the highest incidence of identity theft are California, New
York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, Georgia, Texas, Illinois, and Washington.


Facts and Statistics
Below are just a few recent facts and statistics about credit fraud and identity theft.

"Stealing someone's identity to acquire -- and use -- new credit cards has become one of the most popular
white-collar crimes today, according to fraud investigators from across the country."
-Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News

"This year alone more than 500,000 Americans will be robbed of their identities, with more than $4
billion stolen in their names."
 -CBSnews.com

"In one notorious case of identity theft, the US Department of Justice reported that the criminal incurred
over $100,000 of credit card debt, obtained a federal home loan, and bought homes, motorcycles, and
hand guns in the victim's name all the while calling his victim to taunt him."
  -US Department of Justice Web site

"The number of identity thefts in the U.S. has skyrocketed during the past 15 months."
 -CNN.com

"According to a convicted ID thief in Denver, CO, "On a good day I could make $5,000 in cash and
another $7,000 to $8,000 in merchandise..."
 -CBSnews.com

"A recent report on identity theft warned that there is likely to be "mass victimization" of consumers
within the next two years. The report said consumers should be extra careful to monitor all their financial
transactions for unexplained account activity, withdrawals, or fund transfers."
-The Gartner Group, a technology research group
"Every 79 seconds, a thief steals someone's identity, opens accounts in the victim's name and goes on a
buying spree."
-CBSnews.com

"Experts report that a victim can spend anywhere from six months to two years recovering from identity
theft."
-CNNfn.com

"Most people don't find out they have been a victim of a stolen identity until they are turned down for a
loan or credit card. A copy of their credit report explaining the denial may unveil weeks or months of
fraud."
  -CNNfn.com




If you suspect that someone has used your name, Social Security number, or other personal information to
get credit or a loan, the following steps can help.

Steps to Restore Your Good Name

Keep a record.Because recovering from identity theft can be a long and complicated process, it's important
to keep a record of all communications. Send all letters by certified mail and keep copies. If you think
your case might lead to a lawsuit, keep track of how much time you spend dealing with the problem.

              Report the crime to the police or sheriff's department that has jurisdiction in your case and
Call the police.
request a police report. Though the authorities are often unable to help, a report may be necessary to help
convince creditors that someone else has opened an account in your name.

                                  Call the FTC's identity theft hotline at 877/438-4338 and file a
Contact the Federal Trade Commission.
complaint. The FTC does not resolve individual consumer problems itself, but your complaint may lead to
law enforcement action.

                        Get your credit report and check for any new accounts opened in your name.
Check your credit report.
Because new accounts may take up to six months to show up on the report, continue to monitor your
credit report. Get the 3-in-1 Credit Report and see your credit history as reported by the three major credit
reporting agencies.

Contact the Three Credit Reporting Agencies. Have them put a fraud alert on your file, which will aid in
preventing new credit accounts from being opened without your express permission. Below is contact
information for each credit reporting agency's fraud division:

Equifax
800/525-6285
P.O. Box 740250
Atlanta, GA 30374
Experian
888/397-3742
P.O. Box 1017
Allen, TX 75013

TransUnion
800/680-7289
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92634

Freeze fraudulent accounts.Contact the appropriate creditors, banks, phone companies, and utility
companies and have them freeze the accounts. You'll probably be liable for only $50 of the fraudulent
charges, but different issuers have different policies. Most creditors promptly issue replacement cards
with new account numbers.

You may also need to contact one or more of the following government bodies, each of which will inform
you of the necessary procedures.

Mail fraud
If you suspect that someone has changed your address with the post office or used the mail to commit
identity theft, notify the US Postal Inspector.

Fraud using your Social Security number
If your Social Security number has been used to commit identity theft, call the Social Security
Administration at 800/772-1213. You can order a copy of your earnings and benefits statement to check
whether someone has used your Social Security number to get a job or to avoid paying taxes.

Fraud involving your driver's license number
If your driver's license number has been used to open accounts or verify checks, contact your state's
Department of Motor Vehicles.

Fraud involving your passport
Notify the U.S. State Department's Passport Services Department of the identity theft so that it can
intercept anyone ordering a new passport in your name.

Fraud involving a business scam
If the fraud was perpetrated as part of a business scam, contact the National Fraud Information Center at
800/876-7060.

Bankruptcy filed using your name
If someone filed for bankruptcy using your name, write to the U.S. Trustee in the region where the
bankruptcy was filed. A listing of the U.S. Trustee Program's Regions can be found at
www.usdoj.gov/ust, or look in the blue pages of your phone book under US Government: Bankruptcy
Administration. Your letter should describe the situation and provide proof of your identity.


Important Contact Information

There are a number of helpful services to help you respond if you have been a victim of identity theft.
Below is a list of resources that we have compiled on your behalf.
Federal Trade Commission's Identity Theft Hotline
877/ID-THEFT

Social Security Administration's Fraud Hotline
800/269-0271

Equifax fraud division
800/525-6285
P.O. Box 740250
Atlanta, GA 30374

Experian fraud division
888/397-3742
P.O. Box 1017
Allen, TX 75013

Trans Union fraud division
800/680-7289
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92634


To Read More

If you want to know more about identity theft and credit fraud, the following nonprofit Web sites are
excellent sources of information and additional contact information.

US Government's Web site for identity theft
http://www.consumer.gov/idtheft/

US Government: Know Fraud Program
http://www.consumer.gov/knowfraud/index.html

US Government: Identity theft clearinghouse
http://www.consumer.gov/sentinel/idtchart.htm

FTC consumer complaint form
https://rn.ftc.gov/dod/widtpubl$.startup?Z_ORG_CODE=PU03

US Department of Justice:
http://www.usdoj.gov/criminal/fraud/idtheft.html

Social Security Administration/Office of the Inspector General fraud Web site
http://www.oig.hotline@ssa.gov

US Secret Service: What to do if you're a victim of identity theft
http://www.treas.gov/usss/index.htm?faq.htm&1
                            EQUIFAX SUPPORTS FTC EFFORTS TO COMBAT IDENTITY THEFT

Atlanta, Sept. 3, 2003 -- Equifax Inc. (NYSE: EFX), www.equifax.com, today reiterated its continued support of the Federal
Trade Commission's efforts to combat identity theft among consumers and businesses.

Thomas F. Chapman, Chairman and CEO of Equifax, recently spoke with FTC Chairman Tim Muris and explored numerous
ways to help fight ID theft, and better enlighten, enable and empower consumers and businesses. "We look forward to
continuing to be a part of the solution that hopefully eradicates this horrible crime from our society," said Chapman.

Equifax and the other major credit reporting agencies have worked with the FTC to launch a universal fraud affidavit, which
enables victims of identity theft to more quickly document the crime and conveniently notify credit grantors using a single form.
In addition, Equifax, the industry, and the FTC developed a "one-stop-shop" platform for identity theft victims so that a consumer
can file a fraud alert with one credit reporting agency, which will in turn notify the others.

Among state government initiatives, Equifax participated with the State of Georgia Attorney General to create the "Stop ID Theft
Network," a comprehensive public/private partnership that established an identity theft defense program for consumers,
businesses and law enforcement officials that has become a model for other states.

Additional Equifax programs countering identity theft include:

         Free credit reports to victims of identity theft;
         Toll free access to place a fraud alert on a credit file;
         Toll free access for victims of identity theft to specialists who can provide assistance;
         Pioneer in providing consumer credit monitoring services, such as Credit Watch , that alert consumers to changes to
         their credit file;
         Pioneer in providing identity theft insurance;
         Extensive credit education center at www.equifax.com, that includes tips to avoid identity theft and comprehensive
         advice and direction for victims;
         Assist companies whose employee and /or customer databases have been victimized;
         Equifax's patented authentication technology enables companies to reliably verify consumer identities online;
         Equifax's suite of fraud detection and alert products such as eIDverifier for businesses;

Equifax Inc. is the leading provider of critical information to businesses, consumers and the public sector. For businesses, it
means faster and easier ways to find, approve and market to the right customers. For consumers, it means easier,
instantaneous ways to buy products or services, and better insight into and management of their personal credit. For everyone,
it means best privacy practices and improved security against fraud and identity theft. Equifax employs approximately 5,000
people in 13 countries (United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Peru,
Uruguay and El Salvador) and had $1.1 billion in revenue during 2002.

Statements in this press release that relate to Equifax's future plans, objectives, expectations, performance, events and the like
are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934. Future events, risks and uncertainties, individually or in the aggregate, could cause actual results to differ
materially from those expressed or implied in these statements. Those factors could include changes in worldwide and U.S.
economic conditions that materially impact consumer spending and consumer debt, changes in demand for the Company's
products and services, risks associated with the integration of acquisitions and other investments, and other factors discussed in
the "forward-looking information" section and the "risk factor" section of the management's discussion and analysis included in
the Company's annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2002 filed with the Securities and Exchange
Commission.




Contact Information:

Jeff Dodge                                    Mitch Haws
Investor Relations                            Public Relations
(404) 885-8804                                (404) 885-8093
jeff.dodge@equifax.com                        mitch.haws@equifax.com

								
To top