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Identity Theft

Identity theft is a serious crime. It occurs when your personal information is stolen and used without your knowledge to commit fraud or other crimes. Identity theft can cost you time and money. It can destroy your credit and ruin your good name.

You can deter identity thieves by safeguarding your information:

  • Shred financial documents and paperwork with personal information before you discard them.
  • Protect your Social Security number. Don't carry your Social Security card in your wallet or write your Social Security number on a check. Give it out only if absolutely necessary or ask to use another identifier.
  • Don't give out personal information on the phone, through the mail, or over the Internet unless you know who you are dealing with.
  • Never click on links sent in unsolicited emails: instead, type in a web address you know. Use firewalls, anti-spy ware, and anti-virus software to protect your home computer; keep them up-to-date.
  • Don't use an obvious password like your birthdate, your mother's maiden name, or the last four digits of your Social Security number.
  • Keep your personal information in a secure place at home, especially if you have roommates, employ outside help, or are having work done in your home.
Detect suspicious activity by routinely monitoring your financial accounts and billing statements. Be alert to signs that require immediate attention:
  • Bills that do not arrive as expected
  • Unexpected credit cards or account statements
  • Denials of credit for no apparent reason
  • Calls or letters about purchases you did not make
Inspect:
  • Your credit report. Credit reports contain information about you, including what accounts you have and your bill paying history. The law requires the major nationwide consumer reporting companies-Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion-to give you a free copy of your credit report each year if you ask for it.
  • Your financial statements. Review financial accounts and billing statements regularly, looking for charges you did not make.

Defend against Identity Theft as soon as you suspect it.

  • Place a "Fraud Alert" on your credit reports, and review the reports carefully. The alert tells creditors to follow certain procedures before they open new accounts in your name or make changes to your existing accounts. The three nationwide consumer reporting companies have toll-free numbers for placing an initial 90-day fraud alert; a call to one company is sufficient:
  • Placing a fraud alert entitles you to free copies of your credit reports. Look for inquiries from companies you haven't contacted, accounts you didn't open, and debts on your accounts that you can't explain.
  • Close accounts. Close accounts that have been tampered with or established fraudulently.
  • Call the security or fraud departments of each company where an account was opened or changed without your okay. Follow up in writing, with copies of supporting documents.
  • Use the ID theft Affidavit at ftc.gov/idtheft to support your written statement.
  • Ask for verification that the disputed account has been closed and the fraudulent debts discharged.
  • Keep copies of documents and records of your conversations about the theft.
  • File a police report. File a report with law enforcement officials to help you with creditors who may want proof of the crime.
  • Report the theft to the Federal Trade Commission. Your report helps law enforcement officials across the country in their investigations.

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Annual Credit Report Request Service

P.O. Box 105283
Atlanta , GA  30348-5283
http://www.AnnualCreditReport.com

Phone: 1-877-322-8228
Phone Extension: N/A
Area(s) Served: Nationwide Contracted Provider: Not Applicable
Description:   Credit reports contain information about you, including what accounts you have and your bill paying history. The law requires the major nationwide consumer reporting companies-Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion-to give you a free copy of your credit r... read more
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Equifax


Atlanta , GA  
http://www.equifax.com

Phone: 1 888-202-4025
Phone Extension: N/A
Area(s) Served: Nationwide Contracted Provider: Not Applicable
Description:   Fight identity theft by monitoring and reviewing your credit report. You may request your free credit report online, request your report by phone or request your report through the mail. Free credit reports requested online are viewable immediately u... read more
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Experian


 
http://www.experian.com

Phone: +44 (0) 344 481 8000
Phone Extension: N/A
Area(s) Served: Nationwide Contracted Provider: Not Applicable
Description:  
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Federal Trade Commission

600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington , DC  20580
http://www.ftc.gov
antitrust@ftc.gov
Phone: (202) 326-2222
Phone Extension:
Area(s) Served: Nationwide Contracted Provider: Not Applicable
Description:   This site provides consumer educational materials and allows consumers to file a complaint online. Information is available on a number of topics, including healthcare, funerals, identity theft and scams, and more. National Do Not Call Regis... read more
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Ohio Senior Medicare Patrol Project

7162 Reading Road
Cincinnati , OH  45237
http://www.proseniors.org/
Info@proseniors.org
Phone: (513) 345-4160
Phone Extension: N/A
Area(s) Served: Butler County,
Warren County,
Clermont County,
Statewide,
Clinton County,
Hamilton County
Contracted Provider: Not Applicable
Description:   Ohio SMP Is Seeking Volunteers Did you know that one out of every seven Medicare dollars goes to fraud, waste and abuse? That Medicare fraud, waste and abuse cost you $13 billion? To help address this national problem, Pro Seniors receives fund... read more
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On Guard Online


 
http://www.onguardonline.gov
OnGuardOnline@ftc.gov.
Phone: N/A
Phone Extension: N/A
Area(s) Served: Nationwide Contracted Provider: Not Applicable
Description:   OnGuardOnline.gov provides practical tips from the federal government and the technology industry to help you be on guard against internet fraud, secure your computer, and protect your personal information.
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Take Action

50 W. Town Street
Columbus , OH  43215
http://www.takeaction.ohio.gov
takeaction@insurance.ohio.gov
Phone: (614) 644-2658
Phone Extension: N/A
Area(s) Served: Statewide Contracted Provider: Not Applicable
Description:   The Ohio Department of Insurance, Ohio Department of Aging, Ohio Department of Commerce and Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray`s office have partnered on an initiative aimed at helping people recognize deceptive sales practices and schemes, preven... read more
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Transunion


 
http://www.transunion.com

Phone: 800-888-4213
Phone Extension: N/A
Area(s) Served: Nationwide Contracted Provider: Not Applicable
Description:   Information to help you prevent identity theft, recognize fraudulent activity and tips to help you restore your credit after fraud.

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