According to the FBI, approximately 500,000 to 700,000 Americans become victims of identity theft each year. Reduce your risk of being victimized by following the steps below:
- Remove your name from solicitation lists. Key numbers to call are: the National (Do Not Call Registry)at 888-382-1222, and the Credit Bureaus' Opt-Out number at 888-567-8688
- Never carry your Social Security (SS) card with you. With your SS card in hand, criminal can set up bank accounts and open new credit card accounts---often to multiple addresses.
- Use a shredder. Shred old bills, pay stubs, ATM receipts, credit card statements, and unsolicited credit card offers.
- Go to the post office. Never place out going mail in your home mailbox with the flag up.
- Ignore unsolicited phone calls offering new and better credit card promotions. These callers can trick you into disclosing your personal information.
For additional information, you can refer to free online or printed materials available from the following agencies:
Federal Reserve Bank of Boston www.bos.frb.org/consumer/identity/index.htm
Comptroller of the Currency www.occ.gov/consumer/phishing.htm
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/news/cnsumOO/idthft.html