Information You Need To Protect your
Take extra precautions
to ensure that credit and debit cards, personal
identification numbers (PINs) and passwords, unused
check stock, social security cards and other
documents that bear your social security number,
insurance cards, driver’s license and number, and
other personal information are not susceptible to
identity theft. Shredding is the best way of
disposing of any of this information.
Your monthly bank
statement including check and deposit images, credit
card receipts, statements and solicitations, utility
bills, medical bills, insurance information,
investment statements, should be stored in a secure
location and shred when no longer needed.
A mailbox that can be
locked with an opening for delivery of mail is
Bill payments and other
items that contain personal information mailed in
your residential mailbox are often targets of
identify theft. Use a U.S. Postal Service drop box
rather than your mailbox to mail bill payments. If
you do utilize your residential mail- box to mail
bill payments, don’t place them inside the mailbox
until shortly before it will be picked up and don’t
raise the flag on the mailbox. Utilize your
financial institution’s automatic bill payment
service to eliminate the need to mail payments.
Remove your mail from
your mailbox as soon as possible after it has been
delivered. Make arrangements if you are traveling,
have the Post Office hold your mail or have someone
pick it up daily.
Always ask the
companies that you purchase goods or services from,
including your doctors, if they have a policy of
sharing or selling personal information with/to
other companies or individuals. Instruct them that
you do not wish your information to be shared or
Never give personal information to someone over the
telephone unless you have initiated the call and
have a very good reason to trust him or her.
Never send your personal information, credit card
numbers or account numbers via e-mail or instant
Do not be taken in by individuals or companies that
state you have won a prize but you first need to
provide personal information before they can send it
to you. This is probably a scam.
If you would like to be removed from the national
direct mail and telemarketing lists contact:
PO Box 9008
PO Box 9014
(include: name, home address,
home telephone number and signature)
Also you can join the DMA’s mail preference service
by going to:
Don’t carry any more
credit or debit cards with you than necessary in the
event your purse or wallet is stolen. Store them in
a secure place. Do not leave them in your car, even
if it is locked. Do not leave them in your hotel or
Watch carefully as
clerks swipe your card for a “double swipe” to
prevent a dishonest clerk from submitting a phony
Leave your wallet out
of your purse or pocket until you have received your
card back from the clerk.
Never lend your credit
or debit card to anyone.
If you have lost your
card(s), do not be fooled by a “Good Samaritan”
caller who says they have found your card(s) and
will mail them to you right away. Call the issuer
Maintain a list of all credit card and personal
information. This list should include credit card
numbers, credit card company numbers, bank numbers
and credit reporting agency contact information.
They will ask for the billing address so if
different from your own personal address, be sure to
have that available also. Keep this information in
a safe place that can be accessed easily.
Always shred your credit card, debit card and ATM
receipts. Never discard them at the point of sale.
If you are receiving
courtesy checks from your credit card company, you
may want to request they discontinue sending them
unless requested and shred the unused ones.
you would like to not receive any more pre-approved
credit card offers call: #1-888-567-8688. This
service is offered jointly by the three credit
Numbers, Log In Names, PIN Numbers And Passwords
Do not carry PIN
numbers in your purse or wallet or write them on
Don’t use passwords
easily determined, i.e. 111111, 123456, family birth
dates, telephone number, or your name, spouse’s
name, or child’s name.
When entering PIN
numbers into an ATM, point of sale machine or
telephone make yourself aware of those around you
and be sure and hide the numbers as you are entering
Never share your log-on
name or password with anyone at anytime.
you are transacting business over the Internet
always keep a copy of the receipt and transaction
Always make your
Internet purchases over a secure connection and make
purchases by credit card. You can tell if you are
in a secured site by the padlock icon in the right
hand bottom corner of your computer screen.
Always check with the
Better Business Bureau before doing business with
any company that you do not know, especially
on-line. Doing business with companies whose main
office address is located in the continental United
States will make it much easier to settle disputes
than with companies located outside the US. Beware
of a business that only has a P.O. Box for an
address. ( Better Business Bureau of the Mountain
States (970) 484-1348, Better Business Bureau Four
Corners (505) 326-6501, Denver Area Better Business
Bureau (303) 758-2100)
The use of a firewall
is highly recommended. This software is not
expensive and can be purchased from most stores that
Examine your credit
card, debit card, and bank statements immediately
when you receive them to determine whether there are
any unauthorized transactions. Report any that you
find immediately to your financial institution.
Obtain a copy of your
credit report annually from all three major credit
bureaus and review for accuracy.
What To Do If
You Suspect That You Have Been A Victim Of Identity
Close accounts that you
suspect have fraudulent activity or that you have
been informed are at risk.
Maintain a file with
detailed information regarding all fraudulent
transactions and the steps you have taken to resolve
the problem. This should include copies of
telephone bills showing calls made and their cost.
Receipts of certified mailing of letters etc.
Contact the following:
Your financial institution
Your local law enforcement agency
you suspect mail has been stolen, contact the US
Federal Trade Commission at: 1-877-382-4357
Consumer Response Center, FTC
Office Consumer Protection Division