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If You Become a Victim of Identity Theft
If you believe that someone has stolen your identity, you should:
Contact the fraud department of each of the three major credit bureaus to report the identity theft and request that the credit bureaus place a fraud alert and a victim's statement in your file. The fraud alert puts creditors on notice that you have been the victim of fraud, and the victim's statement asks them not to open additional accounts without first contacting you.
The following are the telephone numbers for the fraud departments of the three national credit bureaus:
Review your report to make sure no additional fraudulent accounts have been opened in your name, or unauthorized changes made to your existing accounts. Also, check the section of your report that lists "inquiries" and request that any inquiries from companies that opened the fraudulent accounts be removed.
Contact any credit union or other creditor where you have an account that you think may be the subject of identity theft. Advise them of the identity theft. Request that they restrict access to your account, change your account password, or close your account, if there is evidence that your account has been the target of criminal activity. If your credit union closes your account, ask them to issue you a new credit card, ATM card, debit card, or share drafts, as appropriate.
File a report with your local police department.
Contact the FTC's Identity Theft Hotline toll-free at 1-877-ID-THEFT (438-4338).
What is Identify Theft?
Here are a few basic steps you can take to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft and pretext calling:
Pretext calling is a fraudulent means of obtaining a person's personal information.
Do not give personal information, such as account numbers or social security numbers, over the telephone, through the mail, or over the Internet, unless you initiated the contact or know with whom you are dealing.
Store personal information in a safe place and tear up old credit card receipts, ATM receipts, old account statements, and unused credit card offers before throwing them away.
Protect your PINs and other passwords.
Carry only the minimum amount of identifying information and number of credit cards that you need.
Pay attention to billing cycles and statements. Inquire of the credit union, if you do not receive a monthly bill. It may mean that the bill has been diverted by an identity thief.
Check account statements carefully to ensure all charges, share drafts, or withdrawals were authorized.
Guard your mail from theft. If you have the type of mailbox with a flag to signal that the box contains mail, do not leave bill payment envelopes in your mailbox with the flag up. Instead, deposit them in a post office collection box or at the local post office. Promptly remove incoming mail.
Order copies of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus once a year to ensure that they are accurate. The law permits the credit bureaus to charge $8.50 for a copy of the report (unless you live in a state that requires the credit bureaus to provide you with one free copy of your report annually).
If you prefer not to receive pre-approved offers of credit, you can opt out of such offers by calling (888) 5 OPT OUT.
If you want to remove your name from many national direct mail lists, send your name and address to:
If you want to reduce the number of telephone solicitations from many national marketers, send your name, address, and telephone number to:
Federal Credit Union
5211-A Campus Drive, College Park, MD 20740
© 1997, 2001 by Federal Credit Union,all rights reserved.
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