Simple Steps to Protect Yourself from Fraud
- Review credit reports annually. Order your free annual credit reports at www.AnnualCreditReport.com or call (877) 322-8228 toll-free.
- Call to Opt Out of pre-screen credit offers from all 3 credit bureaus. This automated line is quick, easy, and stops credit bureaus from selling your information. You will need to provide your Social Security number.
- Cut down on direct mail. Go to the Direct Mail Association's Mail Preference Service to opt out.
- Remove yourself from mortgage refinancing and home equity loan offers by calling the Acxiom U.S. Consumer Hotline at (877) 774-2094 or by writing to DataQuick, Attn: Opt-Out Dept., 9620 Towne Center Drive, San Diego, CA 92121.
- Review your accounts online regularly. People who monitor their financial accounts and transactions online lose significantly less per fraud incident than those who rely on paper statements.
- Receive financial statement electronically. Electronic statements are an effective way to prevent mail fraud. Mail theft occurs any time of the year, but most frequently from January to March when your annual statements and tax documents are arriving.
- Protect paper documents. Shred confidential documents, receipts and credit offers before discarding.
- Review account statements promptly.
- Use secure mailboxes to send and receive mail.
- When you complete an application for a merchant discount card or similar item, ask what security measures are in place to protect your personal information and how your application will be disposed of when it is no longer needed.
- Use caution when asked for personal information over the Internet
- Don't provide personal information by phone unless you initiated the call.
- Be aware of current scam tactics such as phishing and spoofing.
- Use firewall protection on your computer.
- Download the latest software updates.
- Install antivirus and antispyware programs on your computer.