Identity theft can happen

Gannett News Service
2/21/2007 – Here’s what you should do if it happens to you.
February 21, 2007
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Gannett News Service
Each year, more than 10 million people are victims of identity theft.

Would you know what to do if your identity was stolen?

Each year, more than 10 million people fall prey to identity theft, says Jason R. Rich, author of “Dirty Little Secrets: What the Credit Bureaus Won’t Tell You.”

Here are some steps to follow if you become a victim to identity theft:

•Contact your creditors and bank immediately to discuss your suspicions.

•Contact your local police department immediately and file a report. Be sure to obtain a copy of this report.

•Collect all documents such as your credit report and monthly statements. Keep detailed notes about whom you speak to and what notices you receive. Do not destroy any related paperwork.

•If you believe someone is using your Social Security number, contact the Social Security Administration.

•Change your password and personal identification number on all ATM, debit and credit cards. Also, change your checking account number, related passwords and PINs.

•Contact the Fraud Victim Assistance department at each of the major credit reporting agencies. Request that a “fraud alert” be placed in your credit report file. This requires that creditors take additional steps to verify your identity before granting credit.

— PRNewswire

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