Monitor your account regularly
- Frequently review your account activity online to quickly detect fraud and identity theft.
- Among some of the benefits of frequent account monitoring online are:
- Over 50 percent of all identity fraud is first discovered by the victim
- The sooner fraud is detected, the lower the financial impact
- Customers who access their accounts online detect identity crime earlier than those who rely on mailed statements
- Customers who choose to receive electronic statements instead of mailed statements reduce their risk of mail fraud
Learn how to recognize fraud
- Below are some tips for recognizing whether you have possibly been a victim of identity theft:
- If you find new accounts on your credit report that are not yours. A recent amendment to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. Visit www.annualcreditreport.com.
- If you did not receive an expected bill or statement by mail
- If unexpected charges occurred on your account
- If there are charges on your account from unrecognized vendors
- If posted checks appear on your account significantly out of sequence
- If you receive credit cards that you didn’t apply for If you are denied credit or are offered less than favorable credit terms for no reason
- If you get calls from creditors or debt collectors regarding merchandise or services that you did not buy
Check your credit report annually
- For a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months, visit www.annualcreditreport.com.
- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency, has prepared a brochure, “Your Access to Free Credit Reports”, explaining your rights and how to order a free annual credit report. Visit the FTC’s website at www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/freereports/index.shtml .
Alert a credit bureau with your concerns
- If you suspect you might be a victim of identity theft, contact the three major credit bureaus listed below to place a fraud alert on your credit file. You also can order a credit report to identity any unauthorized activity:
- Equifax: 1-800-525-6285
- Experian: 1-888-397-3742
- Trans Union: 1-800-680-7289