Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in the country.
One out of every four households fall victim to Identity Theft. Many people are unaware that there identity has been stolen until they apply for a loan or credit card. It may take months, even years and hundreds to thousands of dollars for someone to clear their credit history.
Criminals obtain your personal information in numerous ways: by telephone, by Computer, by the Mail, by having their wallet or pocketbook stolen, or also by going through a person's trash.
There are simple steps for someone to protect their Identiity:
- The most important step is to review your credit history at least once a year. You are entitled to a free credit report once a year. Check below for links to getting a free credit report.
- When answering the telephone, do not give any personal information to person on the other end of the phone. Unless you initiated the phone call and know who you are talking to. Legitimate companies initiating phone calls to your home will never ask for your personal information.
- Never respond to e-mails on your computer requesting your personal information. Legitimate companies will never e-mail you for personal information.
- Pick up your mail from your mailbox daily. If you are going away for a while, have your mail held at the post office until you return.
- Buy a crosscut shredder and shred all discarded personal docments to include billing statements, credit card applications, etc.
If you are or think you are a victim of Identity Theft complete the Identity Theft Complaint Form.