Thursday, March 8, 2007

Suggestions to help Combat Personal Fraud

Be very aware of your valuables, i.e. purse, wallet.

Use postal service mailboxes for envelopes containing checks or personal information especially Social Security numbers.

Consider using a paper shredder for personal trash destruction, including financial solicitations you receive in the mail.

Before sharing personal information, especially Social Security numbers, ask why personal information is being requested, how it will be used, and whether it will be shared.

Careful who you write a check out to (your checking account number and routing number is on the check) - Careful with who has your checking account info.

Don't carry ID cards and credit cards unless you intend to use them.

Report lost or stolen checks immediately. Promptly review all checks when you receive new deliveries to be sure that none of the checks have been stolen in transit.

Order a copy of your credit report annually from each of the major credit reporting agencies. Check the records for accuracy.

  • Equifax, order a report 888-766-0008 or write P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
  • Experian, order a report 888-397-3742 or write, P.O. Box 2002, Allen, TX 75013
  • Trans-Union, order a report 800-680-7289 or write, P.O. Box 1000, Chester, PA 19022

If you identify unauthorized activity on your credit reports, report fraud by contacting:

  • Equifax 800-525-6285
  • Experian 888-397-3742
  • Trans Union 800-680-7289

If you suspect fraud, contact the major check verification companies to request that retailers using their databases be notified not to accept the stolen checks.

  • Telecheck 800-710-9898
  • Chex Systems 800-328-5122
  • Equifax 800-215-6294

Consider removing your name and telephone number from Direct Mail Marketing groups. This can be accomplished by sending your name, address and telephone number to: DMA Telephone Preference Service, P.O. Box 9014, Farmingdale, NY 11735-9014. Additional information is available on-line at

Consider adding your name and phone number to the Federal Trade Commission's National Do Not Call List. You can register on-line at or call 888-382-1222 (TTY 866-290-4236).

Store cancelled checks, new checks, line of credit checks in a safe place.

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