Monitor Your Credit and Actively Protect Yourself
Under Federal law, you have the right to receive a free copy of your credit report each year from the three major credit reporting companies: Experian®, Equifax®, and TransUnion®.
To obtain your free credit reports go to: www.annualcreditreport.com or call (877) 322-8228, the ONLY authorized source under federal law. For more information, go to FTC.gov.
Safeguard Your Identity
Use the following pointers to protect your personal information:
- Shred all personal and financial information, such as bills, statements, receipts and credit card offers before you put them in the trash.
- Keep your personal documentation like birth certificates, Social Security cards and your credit union and credit card records in a secure place.
- Call the post office immediately if you are not receiving your mail. A thief can forge your signature and have your mail forwarded.
- Limit the number of credit cards and other personal information that you carry in your wallet or purse.
- Sign all new credit cards upon receipt and report lost or stolen credit cards immediately.
- Match your credit card receipts against monthly bills to make sure there are no unauthorized charges.
- Be aware of your surroundings when entering your Personal Identification Number (PIN) at an ATM.
- Cancel all inactive credit card accounts. These accounts appear on your credit report, which is accessible to thieves.
- If you have applied for a credit card and have not received the card in a timely manner, immediately notify the appropriate financial institution.
- Monitor the expiration dates on your credit cards and contact the issuer if the replacement card is not received prior to the expiration date.
- Review your credit reports at least annually.
- Use passwords on your credit cards, credit union accounts and phone cards. Avoid using obvious passwords such as your mother's maiden name, your birth date, and the last four digits of your Social Security or phone number.
- Sign up for online security service to guard you against unauthorized use of your credit and debit cards while shopping online at participating merchants.
- Volunteer personal information when you use your credit card.
- Leave receipts at ATMs, credit union or bank counters, in public trash cans or gasoline pumps.
- Leave envelopes containing your credit card payments or checks in your home mailbox for postal carrier pickup.
- Give your Social Security number, credit card number, or any financial account details over the phone unless you have initiated the call and know that the business is reputable.
- Record your Social Security number or passwords on paper and store them in your wallet. Memorize your numbers and/or passwords.
- Disclose account numbers and other personal financial data on any web site or online service location unless you receive a secured authentication key from your provider.
For more information on ID Theft and what to do about it if it happens to you, click here.