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Peace of Mind.


There are over 25 different types of identity theft. Get protection for them all with Core Identity Protection.

Consider the following...

Personal information is everywhere and is easily accessible to identity thieves.

Identity theft continues to be a rampant and troubling crime in America.

Each year, an estimated 10 million people are victimized.

Identity theft can affect your ability to conduct normal daily affairs.

 

Prevention Tips

There are a variety of steps you can take to protect yourself and lessen the chance of becoming a victim of identity fraud. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee against becoming a victim of financial or criminal identity fraud. The best you can do is to learn about the exposures, change your habits to reduce the exposures, and know what steps to take in the event you become a victim. Using credit monitoring tools, reviewing your credit reports, and securing identity insurance products that provide financial protection and assistance when you become a victim of identity fraud are each valuable additions to your personal protection practices.

Here are some suggestions that can help reduce your exposure:
1. Report Lost or stolen Visa or Mastercard
2. Obtain Credit Reports
3. Know Your Financial Accounts
4. Use Passwords
5. Monitor Bills/Mail
6. Protect Your Social Security Number
7. Opting Out
8. Safe Disposal of Personal Information
9. Computer Usage and Security

1. Report Lost or Stolen Visa or Mastercard

If you lose a card(s) or your wallet or purse, cancel the cards immediately. Keep a list of credit card numbers and other account numbers and the lost card or toll-free fraud phone numbers in a safe and convenient location. Carry only the cards you plan to use or need. You should not carry your social security card or passport with you on a daily basis.

To report fraud to the credit bureaus, call:
Equifax : 1-800-525-6285
Experian : 1-888-397-3742
TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289

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2. Obtain Credit Reports

You should obtain a credit report at least once a year. Under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, you may obtain one free Credit Report from each bureau once a year. For more details click here. A better alternative may be to apply for credit monitoring services that can alert you to changes on your profile or obtain an online credit report for instant viewing. The security of viewing your personal details online can actually be more safe than sending personal details through the mail as breaking encryption on the internet is nearly impossible while mail theft represents a legitimate exposure.

The three main credit bureaus can be contacted at:

Equifax: 1-800-685-1111 or write: P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA30374-024
Experian: 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742) or write: P.O. Box 2002, Allen TX 75013-2104
TransUnion: 1-800-916-8800 or write: P.O. Box 1000, Chester, PA19022

Note: You are entitled to a free credit report if you have been denied credit, insurance, or employment because of information on your credit report or if you are a victim of identity fraud, are unemployed, or receiving welfare.

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3. Know Your Financial Accounts

Know your financial accounts and relationships. Beginning the process of knowing what you have is important in helping you know what to protect. Obtain one credit report from each of the three credit bureaus as your first step. Correct inaccuracies. Close unused accounts that you do not use by contacting the credit grantors and closing accounts "at customers request". Reviewing credit reports provided by the three main credit bureaus is perhaps the best way to monitor existing and any newly created fraudulent relationships.

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4. Use Passwords

Secure your accounts with passwords and change the passwords frequently. Don't use passwords that might be easy to guess, like your birth date, family name, SSN, etc. Consider using different passwords for different types of accounts, like email accounts verses financial accounts.

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5. Monitor Bills/Mail

Keep an eye out for your bills or account information arriving or departing in the mail. If mail doesn't arrive on time, contact the vendor. Constantly check information for accuracy, like your ATM receipts or monthly statements showing your account balance, and immediately dispute items that are incorrect. When mailing sensitive information like bills or tax filings, consider mailing them at a drop box or at the postal office.

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6. Protect Your Social Security Number

Don't give out personal information to people who don't need it. For example, the law limits the authority to collect one's SSN strictly to income or revenue producing entities that need the SSN to report income or revenue to the Internal Revenue Service ( IRS). This means landlords, merchants, etc. do not have a legal right to demand your SSN. Your employer, some banks, or healthcare providers can demand your SSN if they are paying you taxable benefits in the form of salary, interest on accounts, or disability income. Unfortunately, almost everyone uses the SSN as a form of easy identification. Try to limit its availability. Don't write your SSN on checks and try to memorize your SSN. If vendors request your SSN to buy an item, refuse their request or shop elsewhere. Similarly, never disclose information in person, on the phone, through the mail or over the Internet unless it is secure, you've initiated the contact or know whom you're dealing with. There are many schemes that attempt to lure your information away from you. Be suspicious.

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7. Opting Out

Consider "opting out" of mail and telemarketing programs. Call 888-5-OPTOUT for the National Opt-out Center for direct mail and telemarketing. (Information is directed to Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion)

Consider "opting out" of allowing financial institutions the right to collect and share your non-public personal financial information with non-affiliated third party organizations. (A law called the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act requires, in part, financial institutions to notify you of their information sharing practices and provides you with the opportunity to opt out).

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8. Safe Disposal of Personal Information

Consider how you dispose of personal information. Consider buying a shredder and shred personal documents you will not keep that have account details like receipts, old checks, insurance and medical forms or pre-approved credit offers. Also, don't hesitate to ask companies you do business with how they protect and dispose of your information.

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9. Computer Usage and Security

Consider how you store personal information. Protect information you keep in a safe place. On your computer, keep information off-line or install a personal firewall to help prevent access. Remember that "always on" Internet access usually means criminals "always have" access to your computer. Be sure to safeguard your computer with proper virus and firewall protection.

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