Identity theft and fraud is on an exponential rise with almost 17 million victims annually. In 2017, $16.8 billion was stolen through identity fraud and theft. How can you protect yourself and your loved ones? One thing to remember is, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
Take care to guard your:
- Social security number
- Bank account information
- Credit cards
- Driver’s License and passport
- Phone and utility information
Protect yourself from identity theft!
- Shred anything that has your address or personal account information on it, as well as credit card applications you receive in the mail.
- Check all credit card and bank account statements carefully for anything suspicious.
- Check your credit report annually annualcreditreport.com.
- Stop pre-approved credit card applications in your mail by calling 888.5OPT.OUT or visit optoutprescreen.com.
- Do not provide personal information over the phone, through emails or website pop-ups.
Credit Card Theft:
- Sign new cards as soon as they arrive
- Never lend your credit card to anyone
- Report questionable charges immediately
- Call credit bureau to report identity theft
What should I do if I am a victim of identity theft?
- Contact your credit card companies and banks.
- Contact a credit agency to get an extended fraud alert placed on your account.
- File a police report.
- Document all correspondences as it relates to the situation
For the most up-to-date, comprehensive list of current scams and Do’s and Don’ts, go to www.USA.gov/common-scams-frauds
If you think you have been a victim of a scam, here are additional agencies who can help you.
State of Wisconsin Consumer Protection 800.422.7128
USA Government www.usa.gov/common-scams-frauds
AARP Fraud Watch Network 877.908.3360
BBB Wise Giving Alliance www.give.org
National Fraud Information Center 800.876.7060
Wisconsin No-Call List 866.966.2255