Identity theft occurs when an individual’s personal information is used without authorization. Learn how to protect yourself.
The stolen information may include:
- Demographic information such as your name, Social Security number and phone number, among others
- Credit information
- Store documents with personal information such as your Social Security number, ID cards, birth certificates, passports, and so on in a safe place.
- Don’t share your passwords or the access codes to your checking accounts, savings accounts, or credit or debit cards with anyone.
- Choose passwords that are difficult to guess or copy.
- Shred credit and debit cards you’re not using and letters you receive from the bank that you no longer need to keep.
- If you’re no longer using a computer or cell phone, delete all personal information from them, including passwords.
- Delete personal information such as birthdate or physical/postal address from your social media profiles.
- Connect to the internet over secure connections requiring passwords.
- Don’t record your passwords on your cell phones or computers. If those devices should be stolen, the thief or hacker will have immediate access to your accounts.
If you choose not to request a security freeze on your credit report, consider requesting the credit reporting agency place a fraud alert on your credit reports. A fraud alert on your credit reports alerts users of credit reports, including potential creditors, to contact the consumer to confirm the identity of the person opening the new account or requesting credit.
Check your annual credit reports provided by the credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, (free of charge) by visiting annualcreditreport.com. The accounts or activity presented in credit report that you do not recognize as yours could be an indicator that you are a victim of identity theft. Items to watch for are “new” or “re-opened” accounts and other suspicious activity. For more information about what to do or how can you report a possible id theft, visit https://identitytheft.gov/
Access frequently and closely monitor your existing bank accounts and credit cards to identify and report transactions or charges that you do not recognize.
Visit https://www.identitytheft.gov/robodedatos to learn more about how to protect yourself after a data security breach.
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