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Consumer: Identity Theft

Authored By: Legal Aid of North Carolina LSC Funded

Quick Facts

 

What is Identity Theft?

Identity theft is when someone else uses your personal information without your permission to obtain credit, make purchases and commit crimes such as fraud.

If you believe someone has stolen your identity you should do the following:
 

Contact the fraud department of one of these consumer reporting companies:
 

Equifax at 1-800-685-1111
P.O. Box 740241 Atlanta,
GA 30374-0241

 

Transunion at 1-800-916-8800
P.O. Box 9532

Allen, TX 75013

 

Experian at 1-800-397-3742 Fraud Victim Assistance
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92834-6790

 

Ask for a fraud alert to be placed in your account. Once fraud alert is placed in your account you will be contacted if anyone attempts to open a new account in your name.

  • Close any account you believe has been used or opened without your permission.

  • File a report with the police department. Get a copy of the report.

  • File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.

  • File a complaint with the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division
     

How to Avoid Identity Theft

  • Give the last four digits of your Social Security number only when asked.

  • Don’t print your Social Security and driver’s license numbers or date birth on your personal checks.

  • Destroy old bank statements, insurance forms, and other documents when no longer needed.

  • Periodically request a Social Security Earnings and Benefits Statement and verify for accuracy by calling (800) 772-1213.

  • Check your credit reports at least once a year.

  • Guard your mail. Don’t leave incoming mail sitting in your home mailbox. Shred any pre-approved credit card applications.

  • Don’t store PIN numbers in your wallet or with your credit cards and avoid using easily available information such as, mother’s maiden name.

  • When buying on the internet, read privacy policies and ask how personal information will be used. Do not send your credit card number by e-mail.

 

 


To find other Legal Aid of North Carolina materials, including any materials mentioned in this document, go to lawhelpNC.org. If you need legal help please go to legalaidnc.org/.
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Last Review and Update: Jun 18, 2012