Your non-public information, like social security number, is very important. You can take steps to help protect yourself from fraud.
- Regularly check your account(s) for transactions you may not recognize. Report suspicious charges immediately.
- Annually verify your credit report through the three credit bureaus which can be completed for free by visiting annualcreditreport.com.
- Never provide sensitive information, including payment details, on a call or other communications that you did not initiate.
- Keep documents with your personal information in a secure location.
- Be aware of current fraudster tactics, including funds requests for a “too-good-to-be-true” situation and pretexting which is when an individual lies to obtain privileged data.
- Use additional security resources available such as Visa Purchase Alerts for your credit and debit cards to monitor transactions
If you know you’ve been compromised in a company’s data breach:
- Check your credit reports from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion for free by visiting annualcreditreport.com. Accounts or activity that you don’t recognize could indicate identity theft. Visit IdentityTheft.gov to find out what to do.
- Consider placing a credit freeze on your files. A credit freeze makes it harder for someone to open a new account in your name. Keep in mind that a credit freeze won’t prevent a thief from making charges to your existing accounts.
- Monitor your existing credit card and bank accounts closely for charges you don’t recognize.
- If you decide against a credit freeze, consider placing a fraud alert on your files. A fraud alert warns creditors that you may be an identity theft victim and that they should verify that anyone seeking credit in your name really is you.
- File your taxes early — as soon as you have the tax information you need, before a scammer can. Tax identity theft happens when someone uses your Social Security number to get a tax refund or a job. Respond right away to letters from the IRS.
Visit Identitytheft.gov/databreach to learn more about protecting yourself after a data breach.