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    PROTECT YOUR IDENTITY
    Did you know that up to 500,000 individuals each year are victims of identity theft, a fast-growing form of fraud? "Identity theft" or "account takeover fraud" involves criminals stealing a person's personal information. These criminals assume a person's identity and apply for and use credit in the victim's name, harming the victim's credit record. 
     
    AVOID BECOMING A VICTIM:  
    The following information may help you avoid becoming a victim: 

  • Do not give your Social Security or account number to anyone over the phone unless you initiated thecall.
  • Tear up receipts, old account statements and unused credit card offers before throwing them away. Criminals can steal information from your trash and use it to get credit in your name.
  • Review your account and credit card statements as soon as you receive them to check for unauthorized transactions.
  • Protect your PINs and computer passwords; use a combination of letters and numbers and change them often. Never carry this information with you!
  • Each year, obtain a copy of your credit report to make sure your repayment information is being correctly reported. If you have recently been denied credit, you are entitled to a free credit report within 60 days of the date you receive notice of such denial. Under other circumstances, you may be charged a small fee. You can call any of the three national credit reporting agencies to get a copy of your credit report: (1) Transunion 800-888-4213; or (2) Equifax 800-685-1111; or (3) Experian 888-397-3742.
  • Report any suspected fraud to your bank or relevant credit card issuer immediately so they can prevent unauthorized use of your account.
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    By following the above tips, you can help protect yourself against this terrible crime. 
     
    The simple fact is you can protect yourself against most forms of identity theft. The first step is education. To make it easier to understand, we’ve divided identity theft into the five “Danger Zones”. Take a few moments to learn about each of the Danger Zones and the steps you can take to avoid being a victim. 


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