Protecting Yourself Against Identity TheftYou can protect yourself against identity theft. Here is what you need to know if you are a victim of identity theft. The following information was provided by an attorney whose wallet was stolen. Through the experience, he learned about the following information. He was kind enough to share this information via email. The following information is provided to help you avoid identify theft.
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Begin by printing this page off NOW so you can refer to it while completing the steps recommended.
Here is what you should do before anyone steals your information:
Photocopy the contents of your wallet:
Photocopy both sides of all birth certificates and death certificates in your possession.
- Both sides of each license
- Both sides of each credit card
- Both sides of your social security card
Photocopy both sides of any other documents relating to you or members of your family which might be used as proof of identity.
This will provide you with account numbers and telephone numbers to call in the case of the theft of your wallet or important papers. Place these photocopies in a safe place. Do not place them where they may be found by someone burglarizing your home.
Here is what you should do after someone steals your information:
Cancel your credit cards immediately. The key is having the toll-free numbers and your credit card numbers handy so you know whom to call.
File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where the theft occurred. This proves to credit providers that you were diligent.
Call the three national credit reporting organizations immediately to place a fraud alert on your name and social security number. This will alert any company that checks your credit information that they must contact you by phone to authorize new credit. The numbers are listed below:
Experian (formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742
Trans Union: 1-800-680-7289
Finally – Use common sense. If someone calls you on the phone asking anything about your personal information, don't release any information other than your first name unless you are SURE of the person on the other end of the line.