is identity Theft?
Identity theft involves acquiring key pieces of
someone’s identifying information, such as name, address, date of birth,
social security number, and mother’s maiden name, in order to impersonate
them. This information enables
the identity thief to commit numerous forms of fraud which include, but are
not limited to taking over the victim’s financial accounts, opening new
bank accounts, purchasing automobiles, applying for loans, credit cards, and
social security benefits, renting apartments, and establishing services with
utility and phone companies.
contained in this notice provide the actions recommended by the U.S. Postal
Inspection Service and the financial industry to help reduce the likelihood
of becoming a victim of identity theft.
Promptly remove mail from your mailbox after
Deposit outgoing mail in post office collection
mailboxes or at your
local post office. Do not
leave in unsecured mail receptacles.
Never give personal information over the
telephone, such as
date of birth, mother’s maiden name,
card number, or bank PIN code, unless you
initiated the phone
call. Protect this information
release it only when absolutely necessary.
Shred pre-approved credit applications, credit card
and other financial information you
don’t want before discarding them in the trash or
Empty your wallet of extra credit cards and IDs, or
better yet, cancel
the ones you do not use and
maintain a list of the ones you do.
Order your credit report from the three credit
bureaus once a year to
check for fraudulent activity
or other discrepancies.
Never leave receipts at bank machines, bank
counter, trash receptacles, or unattended gasoline
track of all your
paperwork. When you
need it, destroy it.
Memorize your social security number and all of your
passwords. Do not
record them on any cards or on
anything in your wallet or purse.
Sign all new credit cards upon receipt.
Save all credit card receipts and match them against
Be conscious of normal receipt of routine financial
the sender if they are not
received in the mail.
Notify your credit card companies and financial
advance of any change of address or
Never loan you credit cards to anyone else.
Never put your credit card or any other financial
account number on
a postcard or on the outside of
If you applied for a new credit card and it hasn’t
manner, call the bank or credit
card company involved.
Report all lost or stolen credit cards immediately.
Closely monitor expiration dates on your credit
the credit card issuer if replacement
cards are not received
prior to the expiration dates.
Beware of mail or telephone solicitations disguised
instant prizes or awards
designed solely to obtain your personal
or credit card numbers.
and On-Line Services
Use caution when disclosing checking account
numbers, or other personal
financial data at any Web site or
location unless you received a secured
authentication key from your provider.
When you subscribe to an on-line service, you may
be asked to give
credit card information. When you
enter any interactive
service site, beware of con
artists who may ask you to “confirm” your
enrollment service by disclosing passwords
credit car account number used to subscribe.
give them out!
to Contact for Copies of Your Credit Report
Steps for Identity Theft Victims
Contact all creditors, by phone and in writing to
Call your nearest U.S. Postal Inspection Service
Contact the Federal Trade Commission to report the
Call each of the three credit bureaus’ fraud units to
theft. Ask to have a “Fraud
Victim Impact” statement
placed in your credit file
asking that creditors call you
before opening any
Alert your banks to flag your accounts and contact
unusual activity. Request a
change of PIN and a new password.
Keep a log of all your contacts and make copies of
all documents. You may
also wish to contact a
privacy or consumer advocacy group
Contact the Social Security Administrations’ Fraud
Contact the state office of the Department of Motor
Vehicles to see if
another license was issued in your
name. If so, request a
new license number and fill
out the DMV’s complaint form to
begin the fraud
Identity Theft to:
Credit Bureau, Fraud
Credit Bureau, Fraud
Postal Inspection Service
federal government phone list)
(See federal government phone list)
Security Administration, Fraud Hotline
The above information
comes directly from a pamphlet published by the U.S. Postal Inspection
Service ‘Publication #280’ May 2000. For more information about the U.S. Postal Inspection Service
visit their Web site at