Protect Your Identity
Identity theft occurs when someone steals key pieces of personal identifying information. This information may include a name, address, date-of-birth, Social Security number, account numbers, or mother’s maiden name in order to gain access to a person’s financial accounts. This can happen through the mail, over the Internet, or a variety of other ways. Armed with this personal information, an identity thief may open a new credit card or other financial accounts- all in someone else’s name.
Never give personal information over the phone or the Internet unless you initiated the contact. Sandia Area will NEVER ask you for an account number or password via phone, e-mail or text message that we initiated.
Tips for Protecting Your Information
- Deposit outgoing mail at a Post Office or a blue U.S. Postal Service collection box, or give it directly to your letter carrier. Don’t leave mail in your mailbox overnight or on weekends.
- Shred anything that contains your name, address or other sensitive data before discarding - including invoices, receipts, statements, personalized letters, catalogs and pre-approved credit offers. Use a cross-cut shredder for the best results.
- Protect your Social Security number! Do not carry your Social Security card in your wallet. Avoid carrying cards that display your Social Security number such as health insurance cards, unless needed to receive care.
- Memorize your passwords; don’t carry them with you. Don’t use your date of birth as your password.
- Use only trusted websites for online transactions. Do not provide credit card numbers or personal information on any website if you are not sure the site is authentic. Choose companies with secure transactions and strong privacy and security policies.
- Sign up for electronic statements. Fraud and identity theft often begin when a sensitive piece of mail like a statement or bill is stolen from an unlocked mailbox. This service means less opportunity for thieves to strike.
- Report lost or stolen credit cards to the issuer immediately.
- Sign your new credit cards — before someone else does.
- Don’t ever leave receipts behind — at ATMs, on counters at financial institutions, or at gasoline pumps.
- Never give personal information over the phone or the Internet unless you initiated the contact.
- Check your credit report at annualcreditreport.com
888-397-3742 (Fraud Hotline)
800-525-6285 (Fraud Hotline)
800-680-7289 (Fraud Hotline)
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