Monthly Archives: November 2011
By: John Sabatino, AVP Fraud/Loss Prevention Officer, Cambridge Savings Bank
It is important to take safeguards to protect your identity online. Sometimes an identity thief can still strike even if you’ve been very careful about keeping your personal information to yourself. If you suspect that your information has been stolen and used to commit fraud or theft, take action immediately. Here are some of the first steps you should take:
Contact the fraud departments of any one of the three major credit bureaus to place a fraud alert on your credit file. The fraud alert requests creditors to contact you before opening any new accounts or making any changes to your existing accounts. As soon as the credit bureau confirms your fraud alert, the other two credit bureaus will be automatically notified to place fraud alerts, and all three credit reports will be sent to you free of charge. The Three Credit Reporting Bureaus/ Fraud Department are:
-Equifax — www.equifax.com
To order your report, call: 1-800-685-1111
or write: P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
To report fraud, call: 1-800-525-6285
and write: P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
- Experian — www.experian.com
To order your report, call: 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742)
or write: P.O. Box 2104, Allen, TX 75013
To report fraud, call: 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742)
and write: P.O. Box 9532, Allen, TX 75013
- TransUnion — www.transunion.com
To order your report, call: 1-800-916-8800
or write: P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19022.
To report fraud, call: 1-800-680-7289
Call the Federal Trade Commission’s Identity Theft Hotline. Counselors will take your complaint and advise you on how to deal with the credit-related problems that could result. You can reach the Federal Trade Commission Identity Theft Hotline at: 1-877-ID-THEFT
Report any suspected theft of your information to your local police. Give them as much documentation as you can to prove your case. Debt collection letters, credit reports and other evidence of fraudulent activity can help the police file a complete report. Get a copy of the report to submit to your creditors and others that may require proof of the crime.
Report misuse of your social security number to the Social Security Administration. If you fit specific fraud victim criteria the SSA may change your social security number. Call: (800) 269-0271 or visit U.S. Social Security Administration to report fraud.
If any of your bank accounts have been compromised, contact your bank to close existing accounts and open new ones with new account numbers, ATM cards and PIN numbers. You can reach Cambridge Savings Bank at: (888) 418-5626 or www.cambridgesavings.com
Contact your local post office to inform them of the fraud. Ensure that no fraudulent change of address requests were filed.
Contact all of your creditors, by phone and in writing, and inform them of the problem.
Cancel all of your credit cards and request that new accounts be established.
Remember to keep copies of everything.
Remember, the first step to protecting yourself from identity theft is protection and monitoring, but knowing how to take action if something goes wrong is equally as important. Click here to download a chart from the FTC that you can use to record steps you’ve taken to report fraud.