Identity Theft

How to protect yourself

  • Shred unsolicited mail from credit card companies.
  • Lock up any financial papers in the house.
  • Write to Direct Marketing Association to keep your name off of national mailing lists.

Direct Marketing Association
Mail Preference Service
PO Box 643
Carmel, NY 10512-0643

  • To help avoid phone scams put your name and phone number on the "Do Not Call" list.

Direct Marketing Association
Telephone Preference Service
PO Box 1559
Carmel, NY 10512-1559

  • If you receive a phone call asking you to act quickly or not tell anyone about the call – be very suspicious; it is most likely a scam.
  • Check your bank account regularly to look for any unauthorized charges. 
  • If you notice a missing check from your checkbook, call the bank.
  • If you use email, do not click on any links or attachments unless you are expecting an email from that person. Clicking on an attachment or link may install malicious software and steal your personal information without you knowing it. Install anti-spyware software and anti-virus software to your computer.
  • "Grandma – please send me money" scam happens over the phone. They will have you believing that they are in trouble or need money immediately. Most times it is a scammer. Ask the caller details about your last visit to verify who is on the phone. Hang up and call your grandchild with the phone number you have, not the one that was just given to you over the phone. Find out your grandchild just called you.
  • Scammers use "rewards" like gift cards, lottery winnings, free gifts to entice a person to reveal personal and financial information to receive the "reward". Or they may have you fill out a bogus "survey" to capture your information and sell it to a 3rd party. Do not give any personal information away.

More Information

Stop in the bank and ask for your free copy of the 65 page booklet "Take Charge – What To do If Your Identity Is Stolen". It is a step-by-step guide to help you know if your identity has been stolen and what actions you should take to respond to identity theft.