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
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 Earnings: www.ssa.gov/mystatement/ 1-800-772-1213
Social Security Fraud: www.ssa.gov 1-800-269-0271
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
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