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Identity Theft

     •  What is Identity Theft?
     •  How can I protect myself from Identity Theft?
     •  What should I do if my identity has been stolen?



What is Identity Theft?

Identity theft is the unlawful use of another person’s identification.  Identity theft may take many forms.  Common methods of identity theft include credit card or other financial institution fraud, phone, or utility service theft, and the taking of government documents or benefits.  However, thieves are finding new ways of using the identity of their victims every day.  The tragic events of September 11 have helped financial institutions and federal regulators learn more about the ways in which terrorists and terrorist organizations finance their activities.  Some of their methods
included opening accounts and moving funds using false identities or stolen information about real account holders.  One way in which you may help stop these activities and make our financial institutions safer is to protect your account information from thieves and unauthorized users.

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How can I protect myself from Identity theft?

Obtain copies of your credit report annually from each of the three major credit reporting agencies listed below to be sure that they are accurate.

Equifax® Experian® TransUnion® 
PO Box 740241 PO Box 9532 PO Box 6790
Atlanta, GA 30374-0241 Allen, TX 75013      Fullerton, CA 92834-6790
1-800-685-1111 1-888-397-3742 1-800-888-4213





An easy way to do this is to visit www.AnnualCreditReport.com or call 1-877-322-8228.

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What should I do if my identity has been stolen?

In the event that you suspect your identity has been stolen or you are, in fact, certain that it has been stolen, follow these simple steps:


Contact the fraud department of at least one of the following three major credit reporting agencies listed above and ask that a fraud alert be placed in your credit file and for a free credit report (to be on the safe side you may wish to contact all three).


Close all accounts that are or may be affected by the identity theft. Also, regarding any checking accounts thus closed, contact the following major check verification companies and ask that retailers using their databases not accept checks drawn on the closed accounts:  
     •  TeleCheck 1-800-710-9898
     •  Certegy, Inc. 1-800-437-5120

3. File a police report and obtain a copy for submission to credit reporting agencies, creditors, and others.

Contact the Federal Trade Commission to report the theft and obtain further guidance as to 
how to protect yourself:
Federal Trade Commission
Identity Theft Clearinghouse
600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20580
1-877-IDTHEFT (438-4338)

5. If you know or suspect that your mail has been stolen, contact the United States Postal Service.

Keep detailed records of any theft of your identity and of your efforts to resolve the same.
     •  Log the date, time, and amount of any unauthorized activity on your accounts.
     •  Log the date, time, duration, and cost of any phone calls.
     •  Log the date and cost of any mailings and keep copies.


















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