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Prevent Identity Theft

Fraud Prevention Center


Protect Your Identity

Credit identity theft is when someone uses your identifying information such as a Social Security Number, date of birth, and mother’s maiden name to pose as you.   Passing as you, they open new financial accounts or use your existing accounts to steal your money or charge items, leaving you with the bills.


How thieves obtain identifying information:

  • Steal wallets or purses
  • Take mail from your mailbox, especially bank statements and credit card statements
  • Divert your mail by using a change of address form at the Post Office
  • Search through your trash for copies of financial statements
  • Pose as a representative of your financial institution on the phone and ask about your account

Strategies to keep your personal information secure

Keep only the necessary on you:

  • Carry as few credit cards as possible
  • Don’t carry your Social Security card and passport unless needed

Keep your information private:

  • Make your PIN and passwords hard for someone else to guess
  • Don't use your birth date, phone number or last four digits of your Social Security number
  • Guard your PIN (personal identification number) carefully
  • Never give personal information over the phone unless you made the call, or you know with whom you are speaking
  • Keep a list of credit card and financial account numbers with phone numbers in a safe place

Keep your documents safe:

  • Never have your Social Security number on your checks
  • Mail payments directly at the post office
  • Shred all important papers that contain financial information before disposing of them
  • Dispose of credit card and ATM receipts properly

Keep vigilant:

  • Review your financial and credit card statements carefully for unknown transactions. If you see one, call the institution immediately
  • Periodically, order credit reports from the three major credit bureaus. Each of the three agencies will provide a report annually for no fee