News


FDLE urges citizens to protect themselves against identity theft

12/4/2014
 
FDLE urges citizens to protect themselves against identity theft
                                            
The holiday season is in full swing and identity thieves continue to take advantage of unsuspecting victims.  While you can never fully protect yourself from identity theft, there are several steps you can take to lessen the odds of becoming a victim.
 
The following five simple steps will help you protect your identity: 
  • Do not throw away ATM receipts, credit statements, credit cards, or bank statements without first shredding them;
  • Never give out personal information online simply because someone asks for it;
  • Never give your credit card number or social Security Number over the telephone unless you initiated the call;
  • Reconcile your bank account monthly and notify your bank of discrepancies immediately; and
  • Review a copy of your credit report at least once each year.
 
If you become the victim of identity theft, you should act quickly to minimize the impact.  Take the following steps immediately: 
  • Contact the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion to flag your credit report;
  • File a report with your local police department or sheriff’s office;
  • File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338);
  • Contact all financial institutions that you have accounts with; and
  • If you become the victim of tax related identity theft and you receive a notice from the IRS, call the number on that notice immediately. 
 
For additional tips on how to protect your identity, visit www.secureflorida.org, http://myfloridalegal.com/identitytheft, www.ftc.gov/idtheft or www.irs.gov/identitytheft.