Identity theft occurs when someone uses your
personal information to commit fraud or other crimes. The thief takes your
social security number, bank account number or other information and causes
problems such as taking out loans in your name or charging money to your
bank account or credit card. Identity theft tops the list of consumer
complaints at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). It has become so prevalent
that consumers are increasingly subscribing to ID theft protection services.
Identity Theft Safety
How do I prevent identity theft?
- Donít give out your social security or
account numbers or other personal information unless you know and trust
who you are dealing with.
- Leave your social security number off
checks and driverís license.
- Shred documents with personal
information before you discard them.
- Keep your personal information in a
secure place at home.
- Inspect your credit report regularly.
- Monitor your monthly statements for
charges you did not make.
- On your computer, use virus protection,
a firewall and spyware detection.
How do I detect identity theft?
- Check your bank statements at least
monthly. Watch for unauthorized withdrawals and debits.
- Check credit card statements at least
monthly. Watch for unauthorized charges.
- Check your free credit report three times a
year. Watch for unrecognized entries.
What do I do if it happens?
- Act quickly!
- Contact your bank or credit card company
and report it.
- Close the accounts you know the thief
has accessed or get new account numbers.
- Close any accounts that have been
tampered with our established fraudulently.
- Place a ďfraud alertĒ on your credit
- File a police and keep a copy. Creditors
may want proof of the crime.
- Call the Missouri Attorney Generalís
Identity Theft hotline at 1-800-392-8222.