What You Should Know About Identity Theft
Identity thieves are good at what they do because they work hard at it. To keep even the most motivated identity thief from wrongfully obtaining your information, here are a few helpful hints to remember:

Monitor your bank statements every month

Order your credit report twice a year and check for discrepancies…immediately correct any mistakes by written request

Shred all paperwork with identifying information before throwing it away…the best thing to do is buy a cross-cut shredder, or use scissors to cut papers in strips top to bottom

Be aware of when new or renewed credit cards should arrive in the mail

Use fictitious words (and NOT your mother’s maiden name) as passwords on all accounts

Do your homework…ask doctors, banks, etc. what they do with your personal information and how they dispose of it

Do not put your phone number or social security number on checks

Install firewall and anti-virus software on your computer

Submit credit card information on the Internet ONLY if it is encrypted on a secure site…check for the “closed padlock” symbol in the bottom corner of the screen

Do not give personal or account information over the phone

You could be eligible for a free credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies:

Equifax www.equifax.com 1-800-685-1111
Experian www.experian.com 1-888-397-3742
TransUnion www.transunion.com 1-800-916-8800

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