Identity Theft Prevention
Unless you protect your identity from would be criminals, there is a chance you, like so many other Americans, could become a victim of identity theft. If you become a victim, criminals could open accounts in your name, establish phone or wireless services in your name, counterfeit checks, buy cars and more. They can even use your name if they're arrested.
We're Here To Help
We've put together a long list of precautions you can follow to protect yourself and your family. If you have any questions, be sure to call us at 503-813-3242 (toll free 866-813-3242).
- Check your credit report for accuracy annually. Order a free credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com.
- Be aware of who is listening when you give personal information over the phone, whether at your desk at work or in public on a cell phone.
- Never put your account number or telephone number on the Internet, unless the information is encrypted on a secure site.
- Never give out personal information over the phone or Internet unless you have initiated the conversation. When you do provide personal information, ask how they plan to use, secure, and dispose of it.
- Keep a list of account numbers and creditor phone numbers in a safe place so you can cancel them quickly if needed. Don't store account numbers on any computer that connects to the Internet.
- Empty your wallet of any credit cards or pieces of identifications you don't use frequently.
- Don't carry your social security card, birth certificate, or passport on you.
- Cut up old or expired credit cards. Close all inactive credit card and financial accounts
- Consider a P.O. box or locked mailbox.
- Keep a calendar for expected or regular monthly bills so that you'll notice if they don't arrive. One of the first things thieves do is call to change the address on accounts so that you are not aware of fraudulent charges.
- When paying bills, drop them inside at the post office or use Bill Pay.
- Have your checks delivered to your financial institution rather than your home.
- Never put your account number or telephone number on the outside of an envelope or on a postcard.
- Consider using your first initial and last name on your checks.
- Do not leave statements or other documents with your personal information lying around.
- Keep track of any new credit cards you're expecting in the mail. If they don't come when expected, call the creditor.
- Reduce unsolicited credit card applications by calling 888-5OPT-OUT to have your name removed from marketing lists.
- Review your bank statements each month and your credit report once a year. If anything appears fraudulent, call the creditor immediately and put an alert on your reports.
- Keep all of your personal information - your Social Security number, account numbers and passwords - in a safe place that only you have access to. When discarding documents, shred anything that contains your personal information.
- Consider investing in a paper shredder to destroy statement, credit card offers and junk mail. Or join us for the annual KaiPerm Shred Day at a Kaiser Permanente location near you.
- Keep a list of all your credit cards, loans, account numbers, and expiration dates in a safe place, so you can call creditors in case of theft or loss.
- Check your credit card bills. Don't just pay your bill without first checking exactly what's on it. Be sure to save your receipts so you can track everything.
- Always protect your Personal Identification Number (PIN) when entering your number, whether you are using an ATM or you are entering your number after swiping your card in a merchant's terminal.
- Be very aware of your surroundings, especially if you are outside using any ATM terminal. If you are uncomfortable, stop the transaction, take your card and any type of receipt that has printed, and go to a more secure location.
- Always take your receipt and destroy it thoroughly after you get home. Never simply throw it in the garbage. That receipt contains information that thieves need to use your card information illegally.
- If an ATM isn't working properly and someone attempts to help you by asking you to try the transaction and enter your PIN; you will be the next victim of ATM/Debit card fraud. This is a scam in which the bad guy has purposely jammed the machine (which stores your card number) all the thief needs is your PIN to drain your account of all funds.
- Always report losing your card to your financial institution immediately. It is much safer to have your card blocked and reissued than it is to take a chance on the card being in the hands of bad people. With the professional crooks in the world, it doesn't take long to duplicate the information located on the back of your card (the magnetic stripe).
- It is a good idea to let your financial institution know when you will be traveling out of your immediate area, especially if you plan on going out of the country. That way, as the financial institution reviews the daily reports they will have a better idea that you are the one using your card on business or vacation and that the card hasn't been stolen and being used improperly. Remember to alert your financial institution when you have arrived home.
- Remember to keep your PIN to yourself. The number has been assigned specifically to you and no one else. You can eliminate hassles for yourself later. A way to eliminate temptation for family members is to not give out your PIN to them, either. By sharing your PIN with anyone you remove all chances of recovering any fraud detected on your account.
- Your credit union's checks have built-in security coding. Order checks through them instead of mail order or online companies for extra identity protection.
- Don't preprint your Social Security number, your driver's license number, or your phone number on checks. That gives anyone who receives or handles your checks all the personal information needed to defraud you.
- Memorize your personal identification numbers (PINs). Make sure your PINs are different from your address, telephone number, social security number, or any other personal information.
- Make sure no one is looking over your shoulder when you use an ATM or phone card.
- Compare your ATM receipts and cashed checks with your periodic financial statements. Check for unauthorized transfers or charges.
- Carefully and promptly review all credit card and bank statements for unauthorized activity, and report anything suspicious.
- Be vigilant about protecting your personal information - even at home. When it comes to safeguarding your identity, you can never be too careful. Keep all of your personal information - your Social Security number, account numbers and passwords - in a safe place that only you have access to. When discarding documents, shred anything that contains your personal information.
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