Learn what steps you can take to futher protect your information: The following is general information that can be helpful in minimizing the risk of identity theft
Review Your Account Statements and Notify Law Enforcement of Suspicious Activity
As a precautionary measure, remain vigilant by reviewing your account statements and credit reports closely. If you detect any suspicious activity on an account, you should promptly notify the financial institution or company with which the account is maintained. You also should promptly report any fraudulent activity or any suspected incidence of identity theft to proper law enforcement authorities, your state attorney general, and/or the Federal Trade Commission.
To file a complaint with the FTC, go to www.ftc.gov/idtheft or call 1-877-ID-THEFT (877-438-4338). Complaints filed with the FTC will be added to the FTC's Identity Theft Data Clearinghouse, which is a database made available to law enforcement agencies.
Copy of Credit Report
You may obtain a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies once every 12 months by visiting http://www.annualcreditreport.com, calling toll-free 877-322-8228, or by completing an Annual Credit Report Request Form and mailing it to Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348. You can print a copy of the request form at https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/requestformfinal.pdf. Or you can elect to purchase a copy of your credit report by contacting one of the three national credit reporting agencies. Contact information for the three national credit reporting agencies for the purpose of requesting a copy of your credit report or for general inquiries is provided below:
(800) 685-1111 www.equifax.com
P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374
535 Anton Blvd., Suite 100
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92834
You may want to consider placing a fraud alert on your credit report. An initial fraud alert is free and will stay on your credit file for at least 90 days. The alert informs creditors of possible fraudulent activity within your report and requests that the creditor contact you prior to establishing any accounts in your name. To place a fraud alert on your credit report, contact any of the three credit reporting agencies identified above. Additional information is available at www.annualcreditreport.com.
Many states provide residents with a legal right to have a security freeze on your credit file. This will prevent new credit from being opened in your name without the use of a PIN number that is issued to you when you initiate the freeze. A security freeze is designed to prevent potential creditors from accessing your credit report without your consent. As a result, using a security freeze may interfere with or delay your ability to obtain credit. You must separately place a security freeze on your credit file with each individual credit reporting agency. In order to place a security freeze, you may be required to provide the consumer reporting agency with information that identifies you including your full name, Social Security number, date of birth, current and previous addresses, a copy of your state-issued identification card, and a recent utility bill, bank statement or insurance statement. If you request a security freeze from a consumer reporting agency there may be a fee up to $5 to place, lift or remove the security freeze.
Additional Free Resources on Identity Theft
You may wish to review the tips provided by the Federal Trade Commission on how to avoid identity theft. For more information, visit http://www.ftc.gov/idtheft or call 1-877-ID-THEFT (877-438-4338). A copy of Taking Charge: What to Do if Your Identity is Stolen, a comprehensive guide from the FTC to help you guard against and deal with identity theft, can be found on the Federal Trade Commission's website at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/idtheft/idt04.shtm.
Several states also have helpful information on identify theft. Maryland residents may also wish to review information provided by the Maryland Attorney General on how to avoid identity theft at http://www.oag.state.md.us/idtheft, or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or calling 410-576-6491. North Carolina residents may wish to review information provided by the North Carolina Attorney General at http://www.ncdoj.gov, by calling 877-566-7226, or writing to 9001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699.