The most popular Internet crime is Identity Theft, or ID Theft. You are a victim of ID Theft when someone uses your personal information, without your permission, for his/her own personal gain and/or to commit other criminal activities.
- Alert your banks to flag your accounts and contact you to confirm any unusual activity. Request a change of PIN and a new password.
- Be conscious of normal receipt of routine financial statements. Contact the sender if you do not receive the statements in the mail.
- Beware of mail or telephone solicitations disguised as promotions offering instant prizes or awards designed solely to obtain your personal information or credit card numbers.
- Closely monitor expiration dates of your credit cards. Contact the credit card issuer if replacement cards are not received prior to the expiration dates.
- Deposit outgoing mail in post office collection mailboxes or at your local post office. Do not leave in unsecured mail receptacles.
- Empty your wallet of extra credit cards and ID's, or better yet, cancel the ones you do not use and maintain a list of the ones you do.
- If you applied for a new credit card and it hasn't arrived in a timely manner, call the bank or credit card company involved.
- Memorize your social security number and all your passwords. Do not record them on any cards or anything in your wallet or purse.
- Never give personal information over the phone, such as your social security number, date of birth, mother's maiden name, credit card number, or bank PIN code unless you initiated the phone call. Protect the information and release it only when absolutely necessary.
- Never leave receipts at bank ATM machines, bank counters, trash receptacles, or unattended gas pumps. Keep track of all your paperwork. When you no longer need it, destroy it!
- Never loan your credit cards to anyone else.
- Never put your credit card or any other financial account number on a postcard or on the outside of an envelope.
- Notify your credit card companies and financial institutions in advance of any change of address or phone number.
- Order your credit report from the three credit bureaus once a year to check for fraudulent activity or other discrepancies.
- Promptly remove mail from your mailbox after delivery.
- Report all lost or stolen credit cards immediately.
- Save all new credit card receipts and match them against your monthly bills.
- Shred pre-approved credit applications, credit card receipts, bills, and other financial information you don't want before discarding them in the trash or recycling bin.
- Sign all new credit cards upon receipt. Also note on signature line, "See ID".
Credit Bureau & Reporting Agencies
Contact a number of agencies regarding credit.
Stolen Checks/Fraudulent Bank Accounts
If you have any checks stolen or bank accounts set up fraudulently, report it to the appropriate companies.