Identity theft occurs when someone acquires your personal information and uses it without your knowledge to commit fraud or theft. It is a serious crime. And, unfortunately, incidents of identity theft are growing. One example is when a thief uses your personal information to open a credit card account in your name.
No matter how cautious you may be, there is no fool-proof way to prevent identity theft. But there are ways you can minimize your risk. This page contains valuable information on how to protect yourself-by managing personal information wisely, knowing the warning signs and having a plan of action if you become a victim.
Order a copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit-reporting agencies every year. Make sure it is accurate and includes only those activities you have authorized. The law allows credit bureaus to charge you up to $9.00 for a copy of your credit report. However, a free credit report may be obtained at www.annualcreditreport.com.
By checking your report on a regular basis, you can catch mistakes and fraud before they wreak havoc on your personal finances. DO NOT underestimate the importance of this step.
To order your report, call: 1-800-685-1111
To report fraud, call: 1-800-525-6285
To order your credit report or report fraud, call: 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742)
To order your report, call: 800-916-8800
To report fraud, call: 1-800-680-7289