What should you do if you become a victim of ID Theft?
If you happen to become a victim of identity theft, contact the credit reporting agencies (TransUnion, Equifax, Experian) and have them put a fraud alert on your account. There are two types of fraud alerts: an initial alert, which is good for 90 days and used if you suspect you have been or about to be a victim of identity theft. The second type is an extended alert, which is good for seven years and is only used if you have been a victim of identity theft and you can provide an identity theft report to the credit reporting agencies. Each alert will allow you to have free credit reports in a 12 month period. The initial report allows you to have one credit report and the extended allows you to have two free credit reports. In addition, if you want them to, they will remove your name for up to five years from telemarketing list that offer pre-screened credit offers. Furthermore, close any accounts that have been compromised, file a police report and file a report with the Federal Trade Commission
If you practice what was listed above, this should help to prevent you from becoming a victim of identity theft.
For more information on Identity Theft please visit the following links:
Federal Trade Commission: www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/index.html
Identity Theft Resource Center® www.idtheftcenter.org
*For ways to protect yourself from Identity Theft please click the following link:
Helpful publications (Click to view. Please feel free to print):
Identity Theft (published by Federal Reserve Bank of Boston)
Deter * Detect * Defend (published by FTC)
Don't Be a Victim (published by Carroll County Sheriff's Office)
Phishing: Internet Pirates (published by the Federal Bank)
*Nothing can totally and completely prevent identity theft. However, being prepared may possibly help to prevent it or minimize the damage if you should become a victim. Staying alert, aware of changes, and using good common sense may just help more than you know!