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Protect Yourself From Identity Theft
April 8, 2015
Identity Theft Victim Checklist
Tax season is a time to be on high alert for identity theft. Identity thieves take advantage of all the tax related items that circulate through the mail between January and April, but there are ways to protect yourself. Stay ontop of your
credit report or sign up for a credit monitoring service. Monitoring your credit report regularly can give you the earliest signs of an issue.
Identity theft has been the top consumer complaint to the Federal Trade Commission now for 13 years running.
The FTC's annual look at its Consumer Sentinel Network database of complaints found that the agency received more than 2 million complaints overall in calendar year 2013, with 14% related to identity theft.
The average loss from the misuse of a victim's personal information is more than $4,900.
If you are a victim, take these steps immediately:
* Place a fraud alert on your credit reports, ask for a free copy of your credit report, and review those reports for evidence of accounts you didn't open. Fraud unit contacts are:
Equifax 888-766-0008 P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241 www.equifax.com
* Close accounts--including share drafts/checks or ATM cards--that have been tampered with or used fraudulently. Contact all financial institutions and lenders, credit card issuers, utility companies, and the Social Security Administration to notify them of the fraud. Follow up each conversation with a letter.
* File a report with law enforcement and insist on getting a copy of the report or the report number.