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IdentIty theft

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ArIzonA Attorney GenerAl

terry GoddArd

WArnInG:    fastest growing white-collar crime in the US
           IdentIty theft | Message from your Attorney General

Message from Attorney General

terry Goddard

                         Dear Friends,

                         Far too many Arizonans have been victims of
                         identity theft. Repairing damage to your credit
                         and reputation often requires considerable
                         time and resources.

                         Most victims of identity theft don’t even know
                         they are victims until it is too late. This guide
                         provides useful tips to help you reduce the
                         risk of identity theft or to minimize the dam-
                         age if the worst happens and someone has
                         already stolen your identity.

                         The recent string of high-profile data security
                         breaches involving loss, thefts or misuse
                         of millions of customer files is a serious
                         problem for businesses, lawmakers and the
                         public. Government and businesses are
                         taking steps to better protect their databases.
                         It is one thing to prevent someone from rum-
                         maging through your mail or your trash look-
                         ing for credit card receipts and statements
                         to steal. But, it is more difficult to protect
                         yourselves when electronic databases are

                         I am working to fight identity theft through
                         tougher law enforcement, tighter laws, more
                         consumer education and cooperation with
                         banks and businesses to better safeguard
                         your personal information.

                         Identity theft is a crime of convenience.
                         Together we can make it inconvenient for
                         identity thieves to operate in Arizona.
table of Contents

IntroductIon                                                 1

What is Identity Theft?                                      2
How do they get my personal information?                     3
What do they do with it?                                     3
How do I know if I am a victim?                              4

When Your IdentItY Is stolen                                 7

Immediate Response
Step 1:   Filing a Police Report                             7
Step 2:   Closing Accounts                                   7
Step 3:   Fraud Alert                                        7
Step 4:   Fixing Specific Problems                          11
Step 5:   Filing a Complaint/Identity Theft Affidavit       16

lIabIlItY                                                   19

checklIsts                                                  20

PreventIng Id theft In the future                           22

contacts                                                    24

The information contained within this booklet is for educational
purposes only and should not be substituted for the advice of an
attorney licensed to practice law in Arizona.
You are a victim
oF identitY theFt
Someone has obtained
access to your checking account,
stolen your debit card or ruined
Your credit hiStorY
                                              IdentIty theft | What happened?

What Happened?
 You’ve just come home from a           The police knock on your door.
 long day at work. The mail is          They have a search warrant.
 here. More bills. It’s just what you   They inform you that your name,
 need after all the stress from a       address and phone number have
 presentation that is already past      been connected to a Web site
 deadline. You open your debit card     containing child pornography. But
 statement. You didn’t buy much         you’ve never built a Web site and
 this month – just some groceries       you only use your computer for
 and some clothes. Halfway up the       balancing your checkbook and
 driveway you stop. The statement       checking your email.
 shows an overdraft. You had more
 than $1,000 in your checking           What happened?
 account the last time you took out
 money and now you are more             You are a victim of identity theft.
 than $50 in the negative.              Someone has obtained access
                                        to your checking account or
 You’ve finally saved up for a          stolen your debit card. Someone
 car. You’ve been waiting to get        has ruined your credit history by
 your very own car ever since           opening credit accounts in your
 you graduated from college.            name that haven’t been paid
 You’ve just picked out a beauti-       off. Someone has obtained your
 ful little blue sports car and the     credit card number by stealing
 salesman is off putting together       it, hijacking your computer or
 the paperwork. Just as you are         any number of other ways.
 admiring what will soon be your        Someone has used your personal
 new ride, the salesman comes           information to conduct illegal
 up with a sad look on his face.        activities. Now that your credit
 “It’s your credit,” he says.           history is ruined and you are in
 “I’m sorry.”                           debt for things you never knew
                                        about, you can’t qualify for an
 You finally found the perfect pair     auto loan to buy a car or pay for
 of shoes. You can’t believe they       those perfect shoes. You could
 have your size. You are positively     be in danger of being arrested for
 beaming as you carry the box con-      something you didn’t do.
 taining the precious shoes up to
 the cashier. The salesman rings
                                        now what?
 you up, but there is a problem.
 Your credit card has been declined
 even though you hardly use it.

    What is identity
           Identity theft is when someone
           fraudulently uses your personal
           identifying information to obtain
           credit, take out a loan, open
           accounts, get identification
           or numerous other things that
           involve pretending to be you.

           It is a very serious crime that can
           cause severe damage to your
           financial well-being if not taken
           care of promptly. People can
           spend months and thousands of
           dollars repairing the damage done
           to their credit history and name by
           an identity thief.

           Even scarier, some cases of
           identity theft are connected to
           more serious crimes that may lead
           law enforcement to suspect you of
           a crime you did not commit.

                                    IdentIty theft | What is Identity theft?

How Do They                              What Do They
Get My Personal                          Do With It?
                                         > drain your bank account with
Identity thieves can obtain                electronic transfers, counter-
your personal information in a             feit checks or your debit card;
number of ways:
                                         > open a bank account in your
> finding personal information             name and write bad checks;
  you share on the Internet;
                                         > open a credit card account
> “dumpster diving” or going               that never gets paid off, affect-
  through your trash looking for           ing your credit report;
  personal information;
                                         > use your name if they get
> stealing your mail;                      arrested so it goes on your
> stealing your wallet or purse;
                                         > use your name for purchases
> stealing your debit or credit
                                           involved in illegal activities,
  card numbers through
                                           such as products for metham-
  “skimming,” using a data
                                           phetamine production or an
  storage device to capture the
                                           Internet domain for a child
  information at an ATM or during
                                           pornography site;
  an actual purchase;
                                         > Use your name to file for
> “Phishing,” a scam in which
                                           bankruptcy or avoid debts;
  the identity thief sends an email
  falsely claiming to be from a          > obtain a driver’s license with
  legitimate organization, govern-         your personal information;
  ment agency or bank to lure
  the victim into surrendering           > buy a car and use your
  personal information such as a           information and credit history
  bank account number, credit card         to get a loan;
  number or passwords. Often the
                                         > obtain services in your name,
  email will send you to a phony or
                                           such as phone or Internet.
  spoof Web site that looks just like
  the real business or government
  agency – only an expert can tell
  the difference;

> obtaining your credit report
  through posing as your employer
  or landlord;

> “business record theft”
  involves the theft of files, hacking
  into electronic files or bribing an
  employee for access to files at a

> diverting your mail to another
  location by filling out a “change
  of address” form.

    How Do I Know If I Am A Victim?

    Here are some warning           If any of these have hap-
    signs that you may be the       pened, you may be the
    victim of identity theft:       victim of identity theft.

    > You are denied credit;        You could be the victim of
                                    identity theft without noticing
    > You find charges on your      any of these things. It is
      credit card that you don’t    good to keep a careful eye
      remember making;              out for anything out of the
    > Personal information,         ordinary by ordering your
      credit cards, ATM cards,      credit report at least once a
      checks or IDs have been       year and being alert to these
      stolen from you;              warning signs.

    > You suspect someone has
      fraudulently changed your
      mailing address;

    > Your credit card bills
      stop coming;

    > You find something wrong
      on your credit report, such
      as loans you didn’t take
      out or accounts you don’t
      remember opening;

    > A debt collector calls
      about a debt you didn’t
      incur and didn’t know

                           IdentIty theft | Am I a Victim?

                order Your
                credit report
                at least once a year

A free credit report is available


              act quickly

    file a police report

       IdentIty theft | When your Identity Is Stolen | Steps 1, 2 & 3

When Your Identity is Stolen
  There are steps you will need to         then follow up in writing. If there
  take to protect yourself. You may        are fraudulent charges or debts on
  have to spend some time and              your account or if a new account
  money dealing with having your           has been opened, you should
  identity stolen, but you will be okay.   immediately file a fraud report with
  We are here to help you.                 your bank’s fraud department. If
                                           a new account has been opened
  You have to follow these steps           without your knowledge and
  without hesitation. Acting quickly       consent, ask the company with
  is the best way to make sure this        which the account has been opened
  crime does not get out of control.       if they have a fraud department. If
  The longer you wait, the more            they do, file a fraud report with that
  of your money someone else is            department. If not, ask if they will
  spending and, potentially, the           accept the Identity Theft Affidavit
  greater the damage to your credit.       from the Federal Trade Commission
                                           (see Step 5, page 16). If you close
  always remember to act quickly.          an existing bank account and
                                           open a new one, be sure to create
  Step 1:                                  new PINs (Personal Identification
                                           Numbers) and passwords.
  ContACt the polICe
  File a report with your local police
                                           Step 3:
  department and, if the identity
                                           frAUd Alert
  theft did not take place within your
  area, file a report with the police      The next step is to place a fraud
  from the area where the theft took       alert on your credit file and care-
  place. Make sure to get a copy of        fully review your credit report. This
  the police report. You may need          will prevent an identity thief from
  that documentation to support your       opening any more accounts in your
  claims to credit bureaus, creditors,     name. You should contact the three
  debt collectors or other companies.      major credit bureaus listed on page
  If you are unable to obtain a copy       8. If you place a fraud alert with one
  of the police report, be sure to get     credit bureau, that credit bureau is
  the report number.                       required by law to contact the other
                                           two bureaus. The other bureaus
                                           will include the fraud alert in their
  Step 2:
                                           reports. However, to ensure that the
  CloSInG ACCoUntS
                                           alert is included in your credit file
  If you notice any accounts               as quickly as possible to minimize
  under your name that have                potential damage to your credit his-
  been tampered with or opened             tory, contact all three credit bureaus
  without your consent, close them         immediately.
  immediately. The longer an identity
  thief has access to those accounts,
  the more money you could lose.
  Call each bank or company and

    Step 3: Fraud Alert cont.

       InITIAl frAuD AlerT                     exTenDeD frAuD AlerT

       lasts at least 90 days.                 In your file for 7 years.
       Obtain an initial fraud alert when      You can get an extended fraud
       you suspect you might be a              alert on your credit report if you
       victim of identity theft, your          are a victim of identity theft
       wallet/purse is stolen or if you are    and you have provided the
       a victim of “phishing.” With an ini-    credit bureau with an “Identity
       tial fraud alert, you are entitled to   Theft Report.” This type of fraud
       one free credit report from each        alert also entitles you to two
       consumer reporting company.             free credit reports from each
                                               credit bureau within 12 months.

       If you lose your Social Security card or think someone has it who
       should not, contact a credit bureau and have an initial fraud alert
       placed on your credit reports.

       creDIT bureAus
                                               After you have a fraud alert
                                               included in your credit history,
       equIfAx                                 you are entitled to receive a                         free copy of your credit report
       P.O. Box 740241                         from each of the credit bureaus.
       Atlanta, GA 30374-0241                  Request a copy and review your
       1-800-525-6285                          report for these things:

                                               > Accounts you did not open;

       exPerIAn                                > Debts on your account that you                          did not know about;

       P.O. Box 9532                           > Inquiries from companies
       Allen, TX 75013                           you don’t know;
       1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742)
                                               > Inaccurate information.

       Fraud Victim Assistance Division
       P.O. Box 6790
       Fullerton, CA 92834-6790

IdentIty theft | When your Identity Is Stolen | Step 3 (cont.)

 Contact all three credit bureaus immediately

    file     ERT

     Can you believe this is happening?

              c acc

                      IdentIty theft | When your Identity Is Stolen | Step 4

Step 4:
fixing Specific problems

You’ve identified the problems in your credit report, as well as identity theft
problems elsewhere. Now it is time to fix them. Here’s how:

See ContaCtS on page 24 for contact information on these organizations.

  eVenT	 										             AcTIon requIreD                conTAcT

  You find any                  Close the accounts             Credit bureaus and
  accounts tampered             immediately. Get new           creditors (banks,
  with or opened with-          passwords and PINs             credit card issuers)
  out your knowledge            for new accounts.

  Your atM card,                Close the accounts             Bank or credit card
  credit cards or               immediately. Get new           issuer, major check
  checks were stolen            PINs and passwords             verification companies
                                for new accounts.              and the police
                                Notify each bank and
                                major check verifica-
                                tion companies. If your
                                checks are stolen, put
                                “stop-payments” on all
                                checks remaining in the
                                stolen checkbook. Ask
                                any check verification
                                company to put a fraud
                                alert on your account.

  You find inquiries            By phone and then              Credit bureaus
  on your credit report         in writing, notify the
  that you did not              three major credit
  know about                    bureaus that unauthor-
                                ized credit inquiries on
                                your credit history were
                                made and request
                                that those inquiries be

  You find inaccurate           By phone and then in           Credit bureaus
  information on your           writing, notify the credit
  credit report                 bureau of the incorrect
                                information and request
                                the information be

     Step 4: Fixing Specific Problems cont.

      eVenT	 										       AcTIon requIreD            conTAcT

      You have reason to      Report your allega-        Social Security
      believe your social     tions to the Social        Administration (SSA)
      security number         Security Administration,
      (ssn) has been          request a copy of
      stolen or misused       your Social Security
                              statement and/or
                              call SSA to verify the
                              accuracy of the
                              earnings reported on
                              your SSN.

      an identity thief has   Report it to your local    U.S. Postal Inspection
      falsified change-of-    post office. Contact       Service (USPIS)
      address forms,          your credit card
      stolen your mail or     companies, banks,
      committed any other     etc. to notify them
      kind of mail fraud      that your address was
      in order to get your    fraudulently changed.
      personal information

      You’ve lost your        Contact the United         United States
      passport, it was        States Department          Department of
      stolen or you believe   of State through           State (USDS)
      it is being misused     a field office or on
                              their website.

      You think your name     Contact the Motor          Motor Vehicle
      or ssn is being         Vehicle Division.          Division (MVD)
      used to obtain a fake   Make sure you don’t
      driver’s license        use your SSN as
                              your driver’s license

      You think an identity   Report it to your          Your broker/account
      thief has interfered    broker or account          manager, U.S.
      with your security      manager as soon as         Securities and
      investments or a        possible. File a           Exchange
      brokerage account       complaint with             Commission (SEC)
                              the U.S. Securities
                              and Exchange

          IdentIty theft | When your Identity Is Stolen | Step 4 (cont.)

eVenT	 										        AcTIon requIreD           conTAcT

a phone service          Cancel your account       Your service provider
account has been         and/or calling card.
opened in your name,     Use new PINs if you
someone is using         open new accounts.
your calling card
or unauthorized calls
are being billed to
your cellular phone

a debt collector         Write a letter to the     Debt collector
contacts you trying      debt collector. State
to collect on a loan     your reasons why you
that you did not         dispute the debt and
take out                 include supporting
                         such as a copy of
                         the police report
                         or the FTC Identity
                         Theft Affidavit.

You have been            File an impersonation     You will possibly
wrongfully accused       report with the police,   need the assistance
of having committed      have your identity        of a criminal defense
a crime perpetrated      confirmed by provid-      attorney (public or
by someone               ing documentation         private) to clear your
pretending to            and prove your            name. Contact the
be you                   innocence by              Public Defender’s
                         comparing your            Office or the State Bar
                         information to that       Association to find
                         of the identity thief.    an attorney.

You believe              Write to the U.S.         U.S. trustee in the
someone has filed        Trustee and include       region where the
for bankruptcy in        supporting                bankruptcy was filed,
your name                documentation.            U.S. Attorney and FBI
                         File a complaint          in the city the bank-
                         with the U.S.             ruptcy was filed. You
                         Attorney and/or           may want to contact
                         the FBI.                  the Public Defender’s
                                                   Office or the State Bar
                                                   Association to find an
                                                   attorney to help you.

                               it    wait

     You can check your credit report online immediately


    IdentIty theft | When your Identity Is Stolen | Step 4 (cont.)

Getting Your                           address on your account was
credit report fixed                    changed, you must still notify the
                                       creditor in writing within 60 days
If you find inquiries on your credit
                                       after the bill would have reached
report that you did not know
                                       you. Remember to keep track of
about, contact the credit bureau
                                       your billing statements. If you do
and request that those inquiries
                                       not notify the creditor within 60
be removed. If you find inac-
                                       days, you may be liable for the
curate information, contact the
                                       fraudulent charges.
credit bureau to have it fixed.
First call them and then follow        See Liability on page 19 for more
up in writing. Provide copies of       information.
documents for support. If you
cannot get any documentation
from the creditor, send the credit     social
bureau copies of your police           security number
report. Clearly identify what infor-
mation you are disputing. Once         If you continue to have
your credit report is corrected,       problems with an identity thief
you can ask for the credit bureau      misusing your Social Security
to send notices of the corrections     Number, the Social Security
to anyone your credit report was       Administration (SSA) can issue
sent to in the last six months.        you a new number, but this is
                                       not guaranteed to solve your
                                       problems. It is even possible
creditors                              that getting a new SSN will
                                       create more problems. A new
If your credit card was stolen
                                       SSN does not guarantee a new
or you find fraudulent charges
                                       credit record. Credit bureaus
on your credit card bill, close
                                       might combine your new SSN
the account immediately. Then
                                       credit record with your old SSN
contact the credit card company
                                       credit record. Even if that does
about the fraudulent charges.
                                       not happen, the absence of
Make sure your letter includes
                                       any credit history might make it
your account number and a
                                       harder for you to get credit.
description of the unauthorized
charges, as well as your name
                                       Also, you cannot get a new
and address. Send the creditor
                                       SSN if:
a copy of your police report and
a copy of your Identity Theft          • You lost your SSN card or
Affidavit (see page 16). If they         it was stolen but there is no
do not accept the Identity Theft         evidence it is being misused;
Affidavit, fill out the creditor’s
fraud dispute forms. Request a         • You filed for bankruptcy;
return receipt so that you have
proof of when the letter was           • You are planning on avoiding
received for your records, as well       the law or legal responsibility.
as to show that the letter arrived,
within the required 60 days
after you received the bill with
fraudulent charges. Even if the

     criminal Violations                    Identity
     If an identity thief has
                                            Theft Affidavit
     impersonated you when they             A piece of documentation you
     were arrested or cited for a           need to fill out is the Identity
     crime, there are things you            Theft Affidavit offered by the
     can do to correct your record.         Federal Trade Commission. This
     First, to prevent being wrong-         form will help you report informa-
     fully arrested, carry copies of        tion about your identity theft with
     documents showing that you are         just one form. Many companies
     a victim of identity theft even if     accept this form, though others
     you do not know that criminal          will require you to use their own
     violations have been attributed to     form or submit more forms. If a
     your name. If they have, contact       new account has been opened
     the law enforcement agency             in your name, you can use this
     (police or sheriff’s department)       form to provide the informa-
     that arrested the identity thief. Or   tion that will help companies
     if there is a warrant for arrest out   investigate the fraud. Once you
     for the impersonator, contact the      have filled out the Identity Theft
     court agency that issued it.           Affidavit as completely and
     You may also want to get a             accurately as possible, mail a
     lawyer to help you.                    copy to any of the companies
                                            concerned with the fraud you
                                            describe in the form, such as
     sTeP 5:                                banks or creditors. The Identity
     filing complaints                      Theft Affidavit, as well as more
                                            detailed information about
     The Federal Trade Commission
                                            filling it out, can be found at
     (FTC) is the federal consumer
     protection agency. The FTC, in
     conjunction with the FBI,
                                            Make sure you keep copies of
     maintains an Identity Theft Data
                                            all your paperwork, including
     Clearinghouse. The FTC aids
                                            records of everyone you have
     identity theft investigations by
                                            corresponded with, fraudu-
     collecting complaints from iden-
                                            lent bills, police reports and
     tity theft victims and sharing the
                                            complaint forms.
     information with law enforce-
     ment agencies, credit bureaus,
     companies where the fraud
     took place and other govern-
     ment agencies. File a
     complaint with the FTC by
     going to or by
     calling their toll-free number at
     1.877.ID.THEFT (1.877.438.4338).

IdentIty theft | When your Identity Is Stolen | Steps 4 & 5

                           a COMPL
                           WITH THE

              r you act
     the faste

     the less
      you ar

                                                        IdentIty theft | liability

   To ensure that you don’t end            ATM/Debit cards
   up paying hundreds or even
                                           If your ATM or debit card is lost
   thousands of dollars in fraudu-
                                           or stolen, report it as quickly as
   lent charges made by an identity
                                           possible. If you report it within
   thief, the best course of action
                                           two business days, you are only
   is to act quickly. The faster you
                                           responsible for $50 in unauthor-
   act, the less liable you are for
                                           ized withdrawals or transfers.
   unauthorized charges.
                                           If you report it between two
                                           and 60 days after, you may be
   credit cards
                                           responsible for up to $500 in
   According to the Truth in Lend-         unauthorized withdrawals or
   ing Act, your liability is limited      transfers the thief may make. If
   to $50 in unauthorized credit           you do not report it after 60 days,
   card charges per card in most           you can lose any money the thief
   cases. In order for this to come        withdraws or transfers from your
   into effect, however, you must          account after the 60 days. Check
   write to the creditor within 60         your debit card issuer informa-
   days of receiving the first bill that   tion. Some companies offer
   contained the fraudulent charge.        better protection when a card is
   If an identity thief changed your       stolen.
   mailing address, you must still
   send your letter within 60 days
   of when you were supposed
   to have received it (keep
   track of your bills!).

report within
                   60 days

     Plan of Action list                    Document list

     Because this is a lot of information   Here is a list of documents you
     to take in, we have provided you       should have. You won’t be able to
     with a checklist to make sure you      keep the originals of some of the
     have taken all the necessary steps     documents, so it is very important
     after becoming an identity theft       that you keep copies.
     victim. Remember, you must
     complete all of these steps in a       It is also a good idea to keep copies
     timely manner so that the identity     of the documents that prove you are
     theft does not get worse and to        an identity theft victim with you,
     minimize your losses.                  especially a copy of your police report.

          1. Filed a police report.              1. Police report
          2. Obtained a copy of your             2. Identity Theft Affidavit
             credit report.
                                                 3. Bills with fraudulent
          3. Identified errors, inquiries           charges
             you did not know about,
                                                 4. Documentation of
             accounts you did not open,
                                                    accounts opened
             debts you did not know
                                                    in your name without
             about or anything else that
                                                    your consent
             seems wrong or out of place
             on your credit report.              5. Copies of letters sent
                                                    to credit bureaus and
          4. Placed a fraud alert on your
             credit report.
          5. Closed any accounts that
             might have been tampered
             with or opened without your
             knowledge or consent.
          6. Contacted a major credit
             bureau by phone and
             by writing to correct
             inaccurate information.
          7. Filled out the FTC Identity
             Theft Affidavit.
          8. Contacted the correct
             agencies to fix inaccurate
             information, close accounts
             or report identity theft.
          9. Filed a complaint with the
             Federal Trade Commission.

IdentIty theft | Checklists

 cred it

           ID Theft
           in the future
               no matter how many precautions you
               take, identity thieves can find a way to
               steal your identity. But there are ways
               to minimize your risk for identity theft
               and to help you recognize identity
               theft quickly.

               Place passwords on bank, credit
               card and phone accounts: Don’t use a
               password that could be easily guessed,
               such as your pet’s name or your birth
               date, and choose a password that
               mixes random numbers with letters.

           2   don’t carry your social security
               number card: Don’t even carry the
               number on you. Don’t use it as your
               driver’s license number. Keep the card
               in a safe place and use the number
               only when necessary.

               order a copy of your credit report:
               Order a copy from each of the three
               credit bureaus each year. A credit
               report contains information on where
               you live, where you work, how you pay
               your bills, whether you’ve ever been
               sued, arrested, or ever filed for bank-
               ruptcy, and what credit accounts have
               been opened in your name. Review-
               ing your credit report can alert you
               to any fraud or errors. This is very
               important and one of the best ways
               to catch identity theft. You are entitled
               to one free credit report annually from
#$%67*()       each of the three major credit reporting
               bureaus. Take advantage of it.

               Pay close attention to billing cycles:
               If a bill does not arrive on time, it is
               possible that an identity thief may
               have taken it, so remember to check
               with creditors about a late bill.

                                                         IdentIty theft | prevention

5   guard your mail from theft:
    Instead of leaving your mail to be
                                                  they offer and choose which ones
                                                  are best for you. These can be
    picked up in an unlocked mailbox,             particularly important if you or
    take it to the post office or leave it        someone you love suffers from
    in a post office collection box. Make         dementia or other debilitating health
    sure you remove your incoming                 problems, or if there is potential for
    mail right away. Try not to leave mail        care givers or others to to gain
    in your mailbox overnight. Consider           access to financial information.
    installing a mailbox with a lock.             These individuals may be at an
                                                  increased risk for financial abuse
6   don’t give out personal informa-
    tion over the Internet, on the phone or
                                                  or fraud. Many institutions offer
                                                  an array of valuable protections for
    through the mail unless you have initi-
                                                  vulnerable consumers, including:
    ated contact with the receiving person
    or company or you are sure about the          • Fixed limits on savings and check-
    identity of the person or company. Be           ing withdrawals;
    aware of schemes such as “phishing”
                                                  • Delaying or declining transactions
    in which the identity thief pretends to
                                                    that exceed predetermined limits or
    be from a legitimate organization or
                                                    appear suspicious;
    business in order to retrieve per-
    sonal information from you. This might        • Notifying a designated third party of
    include calls or emails from someone            any suspicious transactions;
    claiming to be from your bank need-           • Preventing or limiting electronic ac-
    ing to confirm your Social Security             count access;
    Number or bank account number.
                                                  • Formal bank protocols for monitor-
    Be aware of promotional scams that
                                                    ing and reporting suspected finan-
    use phony offers as a way to obtain
                                                    cial abuse or exploitation.
    personal financial information.

    keep your information safe online:        9   carefully analyze identity theft
                                                  protection services before purchas-
    Only send your personal information,
                                                  ing. Identity theft protection services
    such as your credit card number, over
                                                  such as credit-report monitoring,
    a secure connection (a secure con-
                                                  fraud alerts, identity theft insurance
    nection has an address that begins
                                                  and help for victims of identity theft
    with “https” and has a small padlock
                                                  are all available for a fee. Some
    at the bottom of the page; a window
                                                  credit restoration services are very
    should also pop up telling you that the
                                                  expensive. Most of the companies
    Web site is secure). Make sure you
                                                  offer a package of services that
    have virus protection that you update
                                                  can give peace of mind in restoring
    regularly. Use a firewall program to
                                                  credit. However, you can do much
    protect your computer from being
                                                  of what these services provide for
    accessed by others, especially if you
                                                  free. If you decide to use a service,
    have high-speed Internet which keeps
                                                  make sure to do your research
    your computer connected 24 hours a
                                                  before selecting one. The Attorney
    day, and a secure browser. You may
                                                  General’s Office cannot vouch for the
    also want to unplug your Internet
                                                  reliability or quality of any specific
    while you are not using it. Don’t
                                                  services or products, so be sure to
    download any files or click on links
                                                  check the track record of companies
    sent to you by people you don’t know.
                                                  with the Better Business Bureau.
    take advantage of “fraud fighter”
    security features offered by finan-
    cial institutions. Ask your financial
    institution what security features
                co ntac tS
     Arizona                             Credit Reports
     Attorney General’s office
                                         If your personal information is stolen                        or you notice any suspicious activity
     Community Services Program          involving your credit, immediately
     1275 West Washington Street         contact one of the credit reporting
     Phoenix, AZ 85007                   bureaus and ask them to place a
                                         Fraud Alert on your accounts:
     Identity Theft Help Line
     602.542.2145 (Phoenix)
     520.628.6504 (Tucson)
     800.352.8431 (Outside Maricopa
     and Pima Counties)                  P.O. Box 740241              Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
     Satellite Office locations          1.888.766.0008
     throughout the state
     1.800.352.8431 (outside Phoenix
     and Tucson)                         experian
     Arizona department of
     transportation                      P.O. Box 9532
     Motor Vehicle division              Allen,TX 75013
     602.255.0072 (Phoenix)              transUnion
     520.629.9808 (Tucson)     
     1.800.251.5866 (outside Phoenix
     and Tucson)                         Fraud Victim Assistance Division
                                         P.O. Box 6790
     Remove your Social Security         Fullerton, CA 92834-6790
     Number from your driver’s license   1.800.888.4213 or 1.800.680.7289
     or order a duplicate driver’s
     license at   Remove your name from credit
                                         bureau mailing lists or pre-approved,
                                         unsolicited credit and insurance
                                         offers by calling 1.888.567.8688
                                         (1.888.5OPTOUT) or online at

order your free credit                   Check Verification Companies
                                         If an identity thief steals your checks
Take advantage of your free annual       or creates counterfeit checks from
credit reports, now a requirement        your existing bank account, stop
of federal law. You are eligible to      payment, close the account and
receive a free credit report from each   ask your bank to notify the check
of the three credit reporting bu-        verification service with which it does
reaus every year. Ordering a report      business. That way, retailers can be
from one of the bureaus every four       notified not to accept these checks.
months allows you to check your          You can contact major check verifica-
credit report three times a year for     tion companies directly to request
free.                                    that they notify retailers who use their
To order your free credit report,        databases not to accept your checks:
call 1.877.322.8228, request it at the
central Web site established by the      Chexsystems
three credit bureaus, www.annualcre-, or complete the Annual
Credit Report Request Form and mail      7805 Hudson Road, Suite 100
it to Annual Credit Report Request       Woodbury, MN 55125
Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta,       1.800.428.9623
GA 30348-5281. The request form
is available on the FTC Web site at      teleCheck Services, Inc.                   
TDD 1.877.730.4104                       TRS Recovery Services, Inc.
                                         Attention: Forgery Department
                                         P.O. Box 4451
                                         Houston, TX 77210-4451

                                         Certegy Check Services, Inc.
                                         P.O. Box 30046
                                         Tampa, FL 33630

                                         To find out if the identity thief has
                                         been passing bad checks in your
                                         name, call SCAN at 1.800.262.7771

     Federal Agencies                    Telemarketing
     federal Bureau of                   To remove your name and home
     Investigations (fBI)                address from national telemarketing
                                         mailing and phone lists, visit the con-
                                         sumer page at
     935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW         The Federal Trade Commission’s
     Washington, DC 20535-0001           (FTC) Do Not Call Registry allows
     202.324.3000 (false civil and       you to stop getting telemarketing
     criminal judgments)                 calls at home. You can register
                                         either online at
     federal trade Commission            or by calling 1.888.382.1222
     (ftC)                               (TTY 1.866.290.4236) toll free from                         the number you wish to register.

     Identity Theft Clearinghouse
                                         Do Not Call Registration is free,
     Consumer Response Center
                                         effective within 31 days and lasts 5
     600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
                                         years. If you receive a call after you
     Washington, DC 20580
                                         are registered on the Do Not Call list,
     1.877.438.4338 (ID Theft Hotline)
                                         contact the FTC (see above listing)
     TTY 1.866.653.4261
                                         and report the company. Some call-
                                         ers are not subject to Do Not Call
                                         (former business relationships within
                                         the last 18 months, charitable solicita-
                                         tions and political calls). A complete
                                         list of exceptions can be found on
                                         the Secretary of State’s Web site at

                                         Internal revenue Service
                                         Fresno, CA 93888
                                         1.800.829.0433 (tax fraud hotline)

                                         Securities and exchange
                                         Commission (SeC)
                                         SEC Complaint Center
                                         100 F Street NE
                                         Washington, DC 20549-0213

Social Security
Administration (SSA)
office of the
Inspector General
Social Security Fraud Hotline
P.O. Box 17768
Baltimore, MD 21235
TTY 1.866.501.2101

U.S. passport Agency
1111 19th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20522-1705

If you are a victim of identity theft and
the U.S. Mail is involved, call your
nearest Postal Inspection Service
office. You can also report identity
theft involving the U.S. Mail online.

U.S. postal Inspection
Service (USpIS)
P.O. Box 2000
Pasadena, CA 91102-2000

                                          crime and F
                           Kingman              Flagstaff
                       Havasu           Prescott
                       City                          Payson
                             Sun City
                              Phoenix           Apache Junction
                            Tempe/ASU       Mesa
                   Yuma                                Safford
                  San Luis
                                                        Oro Valley
                                                        South Tucson
                                        Green Valley
                                                              Sierra Vista

     The Attorney General’s Community Services Program includes satellite
     Offices throughout the state and the fraud fighter van. Satellite Offices
     make it easier for residents to get information on consumer fraud and civil and
     victims’ rights issues in their own neighborhoods. Fraud Fighter Volunteers
     are available to make educational presentations to community groups and
     distribute materials at local events. A complete list of Satellite Office locations
     and schedule of events are posted on the Community Services page of the
     Attorney General’s Web site, The Fraud Fighter Van is the
     newest tool to bring services and information to senior centers, libraries and
     neighborhoods. The Fraud Fighter Van is filled with information about identity
     theft, scam alerts, Internet safety and much more.

     for more information,                         publications available
     contact:                                      from the Arizona Attorney
                                                   General’s office include:
     Community Services Program
     Arizona Attorney General’s Office             • Top 10 Consumer Scams
     1275 West Washington Street                   • Civil Rights:
     Phoenix, Arizona 85007                           • Employment Discrimination
     602.542.2123 or 1.800.352.8431                   • Discrimination in Places of                         Public Accommodation
                                                      • Housing Discrimination
     Subscribe to the Attorney General’s              • Voting Discrimination
     consumer alerts and messages on               • Consumers’ Guide to Buying a Car
     current issues at               • Identity Theft
                                                   • Internet Safety
                                                   • Life Care Planning
                                                   • Predatory Lending

                                                                                                                                       Arizona Attorney General’s office
A r i z o n A At to r n e y G e n e r A l’ s o f f i c e   w w w. a z a g . g ov   c o m m u n i t ys e r v i c e s @ a z a g . g ov   1275 West Washington Street
                                                                                                                                       phoenix, Arizona 85007
                                                                                                                                       400 West Congress, South Building
phoenix         602.542.2123                     800.352.8431             (outside phoenix and tucson)                                 Suite 315
                                                                                                                                       tucson, Arizona 85701
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