How Do I DETER Identity Thieves?
Check your credit report annually. To request your credit report, contact one of the three credit reporting agencies at:
- Equifax — www.equifax.com or 800.685.1111
- Experian — www.experian.com or 888.397.3742
- Trans Union — www.transunion.com or 800.888.4213
These three national credit reporting agencies sponsor www.annualcreditreport.com, where you can request copies of your credit report from all three reporting agencies at one time.
- Don’t give out personal information over the phone, through the mail, or over the internet unless you are sure who you are dealing with.
- Safeguard your personal information in a secure place at home, especially if you have roommates, employ outside help or are having work done in your home.
- Shred financial documents and paperwork with personal information on it before you throw them out.
- Protect your Social Security number. Don’t carry your card in your wallet or write it on a check.
- Never click on links sent in unsolicited emails; instead, type in a Web address you know. Use firewalls, anti-spyware, and anti-virus software to protect your home computer; keep them up-to-date. Visit www.OnGuardOnline.gov for more information.
- Don’t use an obvious password like your date of birth, your mother’s maiden name, or the last four digits of your Social Security number.