Protect your Identity

10 Ways to Protect your Identity

  1. Carry only necessary information with you. Leave your Social Security card and unused credits cards at home in a safe and secure location.

  2. Do not provide your Social Security number unless absolutely necessary.

  3. Make photocopies of vital information you carry regularly and store them in a secure place. Then, if your purse or wallet is lost or stolen, you have contact information and account numbers readily available.

  4. Never provide personal account or payment information on a telephone call that you did not initiate.

  5. Replace paper invoices, statements and checks with electronic versions, if offered by your employer, financial institution, utility provider or merchant.

  6. Shred receipts, credit offers, credit applications, insurance forms, physician statements, checks, bank statements, expired charge cards, and similar documents when you don’t need them any longer.

  7. Review your credit report at least once a year to look for suspicious or unknown transactions. You can get a free credit report once a year from each of the three major credit bureaus, get a copy at any time directly from:

    Equifax at 1-800-685-1111
    Experian at 1-888-397-3742
    TransUnion at 1-800-916-8800

  8. Take outgoing mail to post office collection boxes or the post office. Promptly remove mail that arrives in your mailbox. If you won’t be home for several days, request a vacation hold on your mail.

  9. Consider opting out of prescreened offers of credit and insurance by mail. You can opt out for 5 years or permanently. To opt out, call 1-888-567-8688 or go to  The 3 nationwide credit reporting companies operate the phone number and website. Prescreened offers can provide many benefits. If you opt out, you may miss out on some offers of credit.

  10. Know your billing and statement cycles. Contact the company’s customer service department if you stop receiving your regular bill or statement. provides more information about Identity Theft.

Click here to learn about protecting your identity online.

Ten Signs You May Be a Victim of Identity Theft

  1. You see withdrawals from your bank account that you can’t explain.

  2. You do not get your bills or other mail.

  3. Merchants refuse your checks.

  4. Debt collectors call you about debts that aren’t yours.

  5. You find unfamiliar accounts or charges on your credit report.

  6. Medical providers bill you for services you didn’t use.

  7. Your health plan rejects your legitimate medical claim because the records show you’ve reached your benefits limit.

  8. A health plan won’t cover you because your medical records show a condition you don’t have.

  9. The IRS notifies you that more than one tax return was filed in your name, or that you have income from an employer you don’t work for.

  10. You get notice that your information was compromised by a data breach at a company where you do business or have an account.

Click here to learn about the steps to take if you believe your identity has been stolen.