What is Phishing?

How can I reduce the chances of becoming a victim of Identity Theft?

What about Credit Freeze or Fraud Alerts?

How do I get my free annual credit report?

íÖIll pay for (gas, water bill etc.) if you give me the cash!

Iíll pay for (gas, water bill etcÖ.) if you give me the cash!

Has somebody offered to put your gas on there credit card for you if you give them the cash? Has somebody offered to pay bills for you if you give them cash?

If an unknown person has come up to you and offered to pay for your gas on there credit card chances are that they are using a stolen card.

If someone offers to pay your bills with their credit card or by another electronic means, if you give them cash, again chances are that they are using a stolen credit card or account number.

What is Phishing?

Phishing is when through an email an unknown person or business falsely holds them self out as a legitimate person or business in an attempt to get the user to divulge personal information, such as social security #ís, credit card #ís, checking or saving account #ís, etc.. Sometimes the e-mails will attempt to redirect the individual to another website that suggests that you update information, but the site is actually only set up to steal your personal information.

How can I reduce the chances of becoming a victim of Identity Theft?

  • Protect your identifying information such as your social security number and your driverís license number. Do not carry your social security number with you.
  • Be careful how you dispose of your trash. Use a shredder; donít leave your trash out over night or for extended periods during the day.
  • OPT OUT!!! To opt out of receiving prescreened offers of credit in the mail, call: 1-888-5-OPT-OUT (1-888-567-8688) Consumer Credit Reporting Industry OPT in and OPT out number.
  • Be careful when using the internet, On Guard Online (http://onguardonline.gov/index.html)
  • Protect your wallet and purse. Donít leave your wallet out in areas where there are other people. Donít leave your wallet in your car.
  • What about Credit Freeze or Fraud Alerts?
  • Fraud alerts can help prevent an identity thief from opening any more accounts in your name. Contact the toll free fraud number of any of the three consumer reporting companies to place a fraud alert on your credit report. You only need to contact one of the three companies to place an alert. The company you call is required to contact the other two, which will place an alert on there versions of your report, too. (This information was taken from the Federal Trade Commissionís web site)

    Security freezes are designed to prevent a credit reporting company from releasing your credit report without your consent. However, you should be aware that using a security freeze to take control over who is allowed access to the personal and financial information in your file may delay, interfere with or prohibit the timely approval of any subsequent request or application you make regarding a new loan, credit, mortgage, insurance, government services or payments, rental housing, employment, investment, license, cellular telephone, utilities, digital signature, Internet credit card transaction or other services, including an extension of credit at point of sale.

    When you place a security freeze on your file, you will be provided a personal identification number or password to use if you choose to remove the security freeze from your file or authorize the temporary release of your credit report for a specific person or period after the security freeze is in place. (Information provided by Experian.com) http://www.experian.com/consumer/security_freeze.html

    How do I get my free annual credit report?

    Go to https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp

    CREDIT REPORTING bureaus

    Report fraud or request a copy of your credit report by contacting the three primary credit reporting bureaus:

    EXPERIAN
    P. O. Box 2104
    Allen, TX 75013-2104
    www.experian.com
    (888) 397-3742

    EQUIFAX
    P. O. Box 740241
    Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
    www.equifax.com
    (800) 685-1111 (order report)
    (800) 525-6285 (report fraud)

    TRANS UNION
    P .O. Box 2000
    Chester, PA 19022-2000
    www.transunion.com
    (800) 888-4213 (request report)
    (800) 680-7289 (report fraud)