Steps to Protect Your Identity

  • Do not give personal information, such as account numbers or social security numbers over the telephone, through the mail, or over the Internet, unless you initiated the contact or know with whom you are dealing.

  • Store personal information in a safe place and tear up old credit card receipts, ATM receipts, old account statements, and unused credit card offers before throwing them away.

  • Protect your PINs and other passwords. Avoid using easily available information, such as your birth date, the last four digits of your social security number, your phone number, etc.

  • Carry only the minimum amount of identifying information and number of credit cards that you need.

  • Pay attention to billing cycles and statements. Inquire if you do not receive a monthly bill or statement in a timely manner. It may mean that the bill or statement has been diverted by an identity thief. Check with the Postal Service to verify that someone has not forwarded your mail to another address. Contact the bank to verify that the statement, bill or card has been sent.

  • Check account statements carefully to ensure all charges, checks, or withdrawals were authorized.

  • Guard your mail from theft. If you have the type of mailbox with a flag to signal that the box contains mail, do not leave bill payment envelopes in your mailbox with the flag up. Instead, deposit them in a post office collection box or at the local post office. Promptly remove incoming mail.

  • Order copies of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus once a year to ensure that they are accurate. Each of the three national credit-reporting agencies may contain different aspects of your credit history. Contact each of the agencies, or you may receive one free credit report per year from the Annual Credit Report Service.









  • If you prefer not to receive pre-approved offers of credit, you can opt out of such offers by calling 1-888-5-OPT-OUT [1-888-567-8688].

  • If you want to remove your name from many national direct mail lists, send your name and address to:

    DMA Mail Preference Service
    PO BOX 9008
    Farmingdale, NY 11735-9008

  • If you want to reduce the number of telephone solicitations from many national marketers, send your name, address, and telephone number to:

    DMA Telephone Preference Service
    PO BOX 9014
    Farmingdale, NY 11735-9014

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