Protective Tips When Identity Theft Risk is Elevated
There are many ways that the risk of identity theft can be elevated. Your wallet, handbag or briefcase could be lost or stolen, or your data may be compromised by a security breach. Here are some protective tips for you to consider when the risk of Identity Theft is elevated:
- If you receive notification that you are impacted by a security breach, follow the directions on your letter.
- If your wallet, handbag or briefcase is stolen, file a police report immediately.
- Make a list of all the sensitive identification items that are missing, lost or stolen. For example, was there a Social Security card or insurance card displaying your social security number, credit or debit cards, military identification card, professional license, list of passwords or PIN numbers, or a utility bill?
- Contact the issuer for credit card(s) and ask that an alert be placed on the card(s), provide a cell number to contact for purchases, and ask that a new card be issued.
- Contact financial institutions if checks, debit or ATM cards, or financial statements were taken. Request that an alert be added to applicable accounts, new cards be issued, and PIN and/or passwords be changed. Request that a password be added to all accounts.
- Carefully review all financial, credit card, and utility statements to ensure that all charges or withdrawals are legitimate and not the result of fraudulent activity. In the event that fraudulent charges or withdrawals are noted, proceed as though you are the victim of account takeover and contact NEFCU immediately.
- If your Social Security Card is lost, contact the Social Security Administration at (800) 772-1213; request an alert be placed on the file and request a replacement card. Do not carry your social security card with you; leave it in a secure place.
- If your Driver's License is lost, contact the local DMV and request information for a replacement driver's license. Request an alert be added to the DMV file.
- Consider contacting the fraud departments of one of the three major credit bureaus and request that a fraud alert be placed on the credit file. Your alert request will be shared with the other two bureaus, and your files updated. These alerts will be on your file for 90 days. Any creditor pulling your report will be advised to contact you prior to extending credit, as you have reported an increased risk of identity theft.
TransUnion - 800-680-7289
Experian - 888-397-3742
Equifax - 800-525-6285
- Consider placing a security freeze with credit reporting agencies by making a request in writing by certified mail. However, victims of identity theft must attach a valid copy of a police report, investigative report, or complaint the consumer has filed with a law enforcement agency about unlawful use of his or her personal information by another person. A credit reporting agency is not allowed to charge a fee for placing or removing a security freeze on a credit report to victims of identity theft. Credit reporting agencies may charge all other consumers $10 for placing the security freeze. A security freeze prohibits, with certain specific exceptions, the credit reporting agency from releasing the consumer's credit report or any information from it without the express authorization of the consumer. The freeze goes into effect five days from receipt of the consumer's letter by the credit reporting agency.
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Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
P.O. Box 2104
Allen, TX 75013
P.O. Box 1000
Chester, PA 19022
- Contact the local postal inspector and request that no changes be allowed to your mailing address without written permission. Monitor mail to ensure all expected mail is received within a timely fashion. If any mail is late, contact the sender. In certain cases, such as termination of an employee, house burglary, or breakup of a relationship, it is prudent to either obtain a box at the Post Office for mail, or to install a locking mailbox. When the home address is known to a potential identity thief, mail theft becomes an increased risk, and therefore, risk of identity theft is increased.