Click the following link
to watch an
important video presentation from
Be an On-line Victim
to Guard Against Internet
Thieves and Electronic
Tips to Prevent Identity
your checks with only your initials
on them. Do not have your full name printed.
If a check or checkbook gets stolen, the
thief will not know if you sign your checks
with your first name or just your initials.
your work phone number on your
checks instead of your home phone.
your PO Box on your checks instead
of your home address if you have one.
If you do not have a PO Box, use your
Never have your Social Security Number printed on your checks. You can add it
if it is necessary. But if you have it
printed, anyone can get it.
not sign the back of your credit
cards, gas cards, or debit cards. Instead,
write out. "PHOTO ID REQUIRED".
By doing this; anyone that may try to
fraudulently use them they must show a
photo ID, which will not work.
you are writing checks to pay
on your credit card accounts, DO NOT put
the complete account number on the "For
or Memo" line. Instead; just put
the last four numbers. The credit card
company knows the rest of the number,
and anyone who might be handling your
check as it passes through all the check
processing channels won't have access
the contents of your wallet or
purse on a photocopy machine. Copy both
sides of each license, credit card, etc.
You will know what you had in your wallet
and all of the account numbers and phone
numbers to call and cancel. Keep the photocopy
in a safe place.
You Suspect ID Theft or Become a Victim
- Cancel your
credit cards immediately. Make sure
you have the phone numbers and credit
card numbers readily available. This
is where making copies of everything
in your purse or wallet comes in.
Keep those where you can find them.
File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where
your credit cards, etc., were stolen.
This proves to credit providers you
were diligent, and this is a first
step toward an investigation (if there
ever is one).
- Call the 3
major credit reporting agencies: Experian,
Equifax and Trans-Union immediately
to place a fraud alert on your name
and social security number. The alert
means any company that checks your
credit knows your information was
stolen, and they have to contact you
by phone to authorize new credit.
In addition, it will prevent the credit
bureaus from reporting any negative
information due to the id theft on
your credit reports.
- Document Everything!
Make notes of all conversations you
had with merchants, banks, police,
and/or anyone you spoke to regarding
the identity theft. Send all correspondence
via certified mail and keep all receipts.
This will come in handy because you
will probably need it to prove your
monitor your credit reports
and look for accounts you are unaware
of, inquiries that you do not recall
authorizing, and/or any other suspicious
activity. Once you have placed a fraud
alert with the credit bureaus you
are entitled to periodic free credit
reports, depending on the severity
of the ID theft. You are also legally
entitled having the fraudulent activity
removed from your report until the
investigation is complete.
to place a fraud alert on your credit
- If you have received
notice that your personal information
may have been exposed, you are advised
to place a "fraud alert"
on your credit file with the three
major credit bureaus. This is a free
service that will request creditors
to verify your identity before opening
a new account.
- You may place an Initial
90-day Fraud Alert by calling any
one of the three nationwide credit
reporting companies. The agency that
accepts your request will share your
request with the other two credit
reporting companies, which will add
the alert to your file or request
that you provide them additional information.
You will receive a confirmation when
an alert is added to your file. You
may also request a free credit report
from each of the three agencies.
- Choose one of the credit
bureaus from the contact information
below. Experian allows you to file
a fraud alert online or by telephone;
Equifax and Trans Union require you
*Please note that your initial call
to the credit bureau will be to an automated
system. With your copy of the credit
report, you will receive another phone
number that will allow you to discuss
anything unusual with a representative.
You can place
a fraud alert with Experian
online by going to the
Experian Credit Fraud Center.
a fraud alert with Experian by
- Dial 1-888-397-3742.
- Select option 2 ("all
other" requests not related
to credit management tool).
- Select option 2 ("if not" wanting to listen to 8 minute
recording of CA Civil Code Section
- Select option 3 ("if you
believe that your credit information
is being used fraudulently").
- Select option 2 ("to add
an alert to your credit file
using an automated system").
- Select option 1 ("add
a temporary initial fraud security
alert". There are other
options for 7-year extended
victim alert and active duty
at this point).
- Select option 2 ("to continue
to the automated alert system"
which then asks for your social
To place a fraud
alert with Equifax, you
must do so by phone.
You cannot place a fraud alert
with Equifax online.
a fraud alert with Equifax by
- Dial 1-800-525-6285 (this number
is specifically for placing
a fraud alert).
- Select option 1 (to place a
- Follow instructions.
To place a fraud
alert with Trans Union,
you must do so by phone. You cannot place a fraud alert
with Trans Union online.
a fraud alert with Trans Union
- Dial 1-800-680-7289.
- Enter your zip code.
- DO NOT press 1 or say 1 to
listen to the summary.
- Wait for the next option.
- Press 1 or say 1 for Fraud
You should also request
a copy of your credit report from each
of the three credit reporting agencies.
When you receive your credit reports,
review them carefully. Look especially
for these indicators of possible fraudulent
especially ones that have
been newly opened.
charges to existing accounts.
you have not lived at
Facts About Fraud Alerts
Before you add a fraud alert to your
credit report, be aware of these effects:
- You may be asked to
provide proof of your identification
when applying for instant credit.
In some cases, the presence of a fraud
alert may limit your ability to receive
instant credit for in-store purchases
that you plan to take possession of
- Creditors may contact
you by phone at a designated number
before opening a new account
- A fraud alert should
not interfere with the daily use of
credit cards or banking or checking
- The length of time that an
alert stays on your record varies for
each credit bureau. You can request
an extension when the initial period