Keep Your Information Safe

When it comes to identity theft, everyone seems to know someone who it has happened to, but you never think it will happen to you. On average, over 15 million U.S. residents have their identity compromised each year. The financial losses for this can approach a staggering $40-$50 billion dollars annually. According to the Department of Justice, “identity theft and identity fraud are terms used to refer to a crime where someone wrongfully obtains and uses another person’s personal data in some way that involves fraud or deception, usually for economic gain.” Often times, when one’s identity is compromised, there may be no clue as to how this information was obtained. It could be due to the product of a low tech method such as mail theft. It could be due to large data breaches from retailers and creditors. Luckily, there are several small precautions you can take that go a long way in protecting your information from identity theft.

As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It is important to remain vigilant every day, and there are a number of things that you can do to protect yourself from being a victim of identity theft.

  • Do not carry your social security card in your wallet or purse.
  • Subscribe to USPS Informed Delivery and check/collect your mail daily. A locking mailbox can also help prevent mail theft.
  • Review your credit report to check for suspicious activity or new accounts you didn’t authorize. You can obtain your free credit report at annualcreditreport.com. If you cycle between Equifax, Experian and Transunion, you can check a version of your credit report once every four months.
  • Review your credit card and bank account statements promptly.
  • Buy a quality shredder and make sure to shred statements, receipts and bills.

Unfortunately, despite your best efforts, you may still end up being the victim of identity theft. If you find that your identity has been compromised, you are not alone! Rogue is here to help you get everything put back in order. Additionally, there are some steps that you can take to limit the amount of damage, once you determine that you have been a victim.

  • Contact the company or companies where fraud has occurred. If your Rogue account was compromised, we can close affected accounts to make sure that no additional unauthorized charges are made.
  • Contact each credit bureau and place an initial fraud alert on each bureau. At the same time, you should request a copy of your credit report from each bureau for review. Your initial alert will last 90 days.
    • Equifax.com/CreditReportAssistance1-800-680-7289
    • Experian.com/fraudalert1-888-397-3742
    • Transunion.com/fraud1-800-680-7289
  • After reporting fraud to your credit reporting agencies, you will receive a copy of your credit report from all 3 bureaus. Review inquiries, open accounts and other personal information.
  • Contact the FTC at https://www.identitytheft.gov/ to review recovery plans and notify the FTC of your identity theft. You will need to obtain an FTC fraud affidavit. Depending on circumstances, you should contact your local law enforcement to notify them of the crime as well.
  • Send a copy of your ID theft report to any creditor that you did not open and request that they cease reporting. Additionally, you should request documentation that shows fraudulent transactions or account openings.
  • Change all of your existing passwords on open bank, credit or other online accounts. Make sure not to use something easy to guess such as a date of birth, anniversary or birth date.

 

If you’re identity has been compromised, the team here at Rogue will help you along the way. The Federal Trade Commission will also help you by setting up a plan that will help you get your life back in order and clear up the issues that could be clouding your credit report. Here at Rogue, you are not alone when it comes to identity theft. If you think you have been a victim, please call us at 800.856.7328 or stop by your local branch today!

 

Resources for further education on Identity Theft:

To check your credit score:

https://www.annualcreditreport.com/index.action

To opt-out of unwanted credit card offers:

https://www.optoutprescreen.com/?rf=t

For more information on identity theft:

https://www.identitytheft.gov/

https://www.ssa.gov/