What is Identity Theft
Identity theft happens when someone steals your personal information and uses it without your permission. It’ s a serious crime that can wreak havoc with your finances, credit history, and reputation-and can take time, money, and patience to resolve.
What you can do
There is no perfectly sure prevention, but there are actions to take that limit the damage someone who abuses your name and credit can do:
- Contact CBB Bank Customer Service immediately by calling (323) 988-3000 or visiting nearest CBB Bank branch to report any fraudulent activity you’ ve seen and to close any accounts that have been tampered with or fraudulently established.
Pay attention to your credit report. Under the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act ( “ FCRA &rdquo), you are entitled to receive a FREE copy of your personal credit report once every twelve (12) months from each of the three (3) nationwide consumer reporting companies.
Contact information about three credit bureaus:
- Experian: Call (888) 397-3742, visit their website at www.experian.com, or write them at P.O. Box 9531, Allen, TX 75013
- Equifax: Call (800) 525-6285, visit their website at www.equifax.com, or write them at P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374
- Trans Union: Call (800) 680-7289, visit their website at www.transunion.com, or write them at 2 Baldwin Place, P.O. Box 1000, Chester, PA 19022
- Or contact Annual Credit Report Request Service by calling 877-322-8228, visit their website at www.annualcreditreport.com, or write them at P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.
- Contact information about three credit bureaus:
- Periodically go through your credit cards and cancel those you do not need or use regularly. Sign the back of cards you do keep with permanent ink.
- Keep a list of all your credit card numbers and the service provider phone numbers and store in a safe place where you can get to the list. In case of loss or theft of your credit cards, you need to contact the service provider as soon as possible.
- Contact credit bureaus. Ask them to put a statement on your credit report that says, "Do not issue credit to anyone without contacting me personally". You will need to supply a list of items to get this service including a phone bill with your name, address and phone number on it and a copy of your driver's license and a copy of your Social Security Card.
- Do not give out personal information on the phone, through the mail, or on the Internet, unless you initiate the contact or are sure you know with whom you are dealing. Identity thieves are clever. They have pose as bank representatives, Internet service providers (ISPs), and even government agencies to get people to reveal their Social Security number, mother's maiden name, account numbers, and other identifying information. Before you share any personal information, confirm you are dealing with a legitimate organization. Check an organization's website by typing its URL in the address line, rather than cutting and pasting it. Many companies post fraud alerts when their name is used improperly. Alternatively, call customer service using the number listed on your account statement or in the telephone book.
- Do not carry your Social Security Card with you; leave it in a secure place. Give your Social Security number only when necessary, and ask to use other types of identifiers. If your state uses your Social Security number as your driver's license number, ask to substitute another number. This applies if your health insurance company uses your Social Security number as your policy number.
- Pay Cash whenever possible. Never give your credit card number to anyone over the phone, if you do pay with a credit card, mark out your card number on the receipt that contains your name, card number and signature on it --- it is too easy for a thief to take advantage of it if they get a hold of it.
- SHRED everything that contains personal information.
- Opt out of pre-screening of your credit reports by contacting Marketing opt-out at (888) 567-8688 (888) 5OPT-OUT. It requires one single call for all three credit bureaus. This will stop the arrival of pre-approved credit card offers in your mailbox. Those pre-approved offers are dangerous. It is easy for someone to steal your mail or simply submit a change of address to divert your pre-approved offers to a mailbox accessible by a thief.
- Be cautious when responding to promotions. Identity thieves may create phony promotional offers to get you to give them your personal information.
- Treat your mail carefully. Deposit your outgoing mail in post office collection boxes or at your local post office, rather than in an unsecured mailbox. Promptly remove mail from your mailbox. If you are planning to be away from home and cannot pick up your mail, call the U.S. Postal Service at (800) 275-8777 to request a vacation hold or simply make the request online at www.ups.com and click on Hold Mail Service. The postal service will hold your mail at your local post office until you can pick it up or are home to receive it.
- Treat your trash carefully. To thwart an identity thief who may pick through your trash or recycling bins to capture your personal information, tear or shred your charge receipts, copies of credit applications, insurance forms, physician statements, checks and bank statements, expired charge cards that you're discarding, and credit offers you get in the mail.
- Ask about information security procedures in your workplace or at businisses, doctor's offices, or other institutions that collect your personally identifying information. Find out who has access to your personal information and verify that they handle it in a secure manner. Ask about the disposal procedures for those records as well. Find out if they share your information with anyone else. If so, ask how they will keep your information confidential.
- More organizations are offering consumers choices about how their personal information is used. For example, many let you "opt out" of having your information shared with others or used for marketing purposes.