Identity Theft

 

10 ways to stop Identity Theft

 

1)    Guard your social security number.  Do NOT print your Social Security Number on your checks.  After applying for a loan, credit card, rental or anything else that requires a credit report, request your Social Security number on the application be truncated or completely obliterated and your original document report be shredded before your eyes, or returned to you once a decision has been made.

2)    Monitor your credit report.

3)      Buy a shredder and use it.  Identity thieves may use your garbage to obtain personal information.  Shred all old bank and credit statements as well as “junk mail” credit offers, before trashing them.

4)      Remove your name from marketing lists.  The three credit-reporting bureaus –Equifax, Experian and TransUnion —  all maintain marketing lists that may contain your information.  Contact these agencies to remove you name from the lists.  You may also want to add your name to the Missouri “No Call” list to reduce telephone solicitations.

5)      Watch what you carry in your wallet.  Do not keep your Social Security card in your wallet or carry extra credit cards, or other important identity documents except when needed.

6)      Keep duplicate records.  Place the contents of your wallet on a photocopy machine.  Copy both sides of your license and credit cards so you have all the account information, numbers, expiration dates and phone numbers if your wallet or purse gets stolen.

7)      Mail payments from a safe location. Do not mail bill payments and checks from home.  They can be stolen from your mailbox and washed clean in chemicals.  Take them to the post office.

8)      Monitor your Social Security activity.  You may wish to order your Social Security Earnings and Benefits statement once a year to check for fraud.

9)      Monitor your credit card activity.  Carefully examine your credit-card statements for fraudulent charges before paying them.  If you don’t need or use department store or bank issued credit cards, close the accounts.

10)   Know who you are talking to.  NEVER give your credit-card number or personal information over the phone unless you have initiated the call and trust that business.

 

 

 

 

Unsolicited Phone Calls

 

Missouri “NO CALL” list:              www.ago.mo.gov/nocall              1-866-662-2551

 

National Do Not Call registry      www.donotcall.gov

 

Credit Bureaus

 

Equifax:                                               www.equifax.com                          1-888-202-4025

 

Experian:                                             www.experian.com                        1-888-397-3742

 

TransUnion:                                       www.transunion.com/index.jsp               1-800-916-8800

 

Removal from pre-approved offers of credit:                                     1-888-567-8688

Information will be relayed to all three credit bureaus.              (1-888-5OPTOUT)

Social Security

 

Social Security Earnings:               www.ssa.gov/mystatement/     1-800-772-1213

 

Social Security Fraud:                   www.ssa.gov                                    1-800-269-0271

 

Junk Mail

 

Direct Marketing Association’s Mail Preference Service  (MPS)

DMA Mail Preference Service

P.O. Box 643

Carmel, NY 10512             www.dmaconsumers.org            1-212-790-1488

 

ADVO, Inc., List Service Department                                                       1-888-241-6760

P.O. Box 249

Windson CT 06095

 

Harte-Hanks                                                                                                      1-800-422-4116

2830 Orbiter St.

Brea, CA 92821

 

Valpak Coupons               www.coxtarget.com/contact.html           1-800-237-6266

8575 Largo Lakes Drive

Largo FL 33773

 

Donnelly Marketing Database Ops                                                          1-888-633-4402

416 So. Bell

Ames IA 50010

Sweepstakes and Prizes

 

Publishers Clearinghouse                                                                            1-800-645-9242

101 Channel Dr.

Port Washington NY.  11050

 

Readers Digest                                                                                                 1-800-334-9599

Readers Digest Road

Pleasantville NY. 10570