Identity Theft Assistance

Identity theft has impacted our society exponentially over the past several years. 

Tips to Protect Against Identity Theft

What are a few things that you can do to minimize the risk of becoming a victim of identity theft? Here are a few tips:

  • Never provide your credit card information or social security number over the phone.
  • Restrict your online purchases to credible website and vendors.
  • Closely monitor your billing statements for all of your accounts.
  • Be sure to physically shred all documents or billing statements before throwing them away.
  • Program the 1-800 number for the fraud department for your credit card company(ies) in your cell phone.
  • Consider scribing the phrase "CHECK ID" on the rear side of your credit cards.
  • Maintain complex passwords for access to online bank accounts and/or credit card accounts.
  • Do no respond/interact to unsolicited emails or unsubstantiated emails requesting you to "verify your account" or similar verbiage.
  • Cancel any credit card accounts that you do not use on a regular basis.
  • Consider purchasing a credit monitoring service for you and our family.

For Victims of Identity Theft

If you have already fallen victim to identity theft, what steps should you take? Here are a few tips:

  • Contact the fraud department for all of your credit card companies and notify them of the suspected fraudulent activity.
  • If you suspect that your credit cards have been compromised, demand that your currently issued cards be deactivated and that new cards be issued.
  • Immediately contact one of the three major credit report bureaus and place a fraud alert on your name. It is not necessary to call all three bureau's, you only need to contact one bureau. 
    • Equifax: 888-766-0008
    • Transunion: 800-680-7289
    • Experian: 888-397-3742
  • Contact any vendors associated with unauthorized purchases and demand documentation of the alleged purchases.
  • Be sure to request necessary forms to file affidavits of forgery to declare charges as fraudulent.