Ways to Prevent Identify Theft

  • Do not sign the back of your credit cards. Instead, write in “PHOTO ID REQUIRED”.
  • When writing checks to pay on your credit card accounts, DO NOT write the complete account number on the “for” line. Instead, just write in the last four numbers.
  • Put your work phone number on your checks instead of your home or cell phone. If you have a PO Box or work address use that instead of your home address. Never have your social security number printed on your checks.
  • Place the contents of your wallet on a photocopy machine. Do both sides of each license, credit card, etc. Should your wallet be lost or stolen you will then know what you had in your wallet, the account numbers, and phone numbers to call for cancellation. Also, make a copy of your passport, if you have one.
  • If your credit cards are lost or stolen, immediately do the following:
    • Notify local police (at the location you first notice your cards missing).
    • Call the credit card companies, so they can cancel and reissue new cards for your future use.
    • Call the three national credit reporting organizations and request that a “fraud alert” be placed by your name. Also call the Social Security fraud line number.
    • The numbers you need:
      • Equifax: 800-525-6285
      • Experian: 888-397-3742
      • Trans Union: 800-680-7289
      • Social Security Fraud Line: 800-269-0271
  • See the Federal Trade Commission's identity theft page for information about what you can do if your identity has been stolen. Or, you can contact them directly at: 877-438-4338