The best way to detect identity theft is to monitor your accounts and bank statements each month, and check your credit report on a regular basis.
- What are the signs of identity theft?
- How do you find out if your identity was stolen?
- What personal information should I monitor regularly?
- How do I get my free credit reports?
- What should I do if I am a victim of identity theft?
- Stay alert for the signs of identity theft, such as:
- Accounts you didn't open or changes on your accounts that you can't explain.
- Fraudulent or inaccurate information on your credit reports, including accounts and personal information, like your Social Security number, address(es), names or initials, and employers.
- Failing to receive bills or other mailings. Follow up with creditors if bills or statements are not arriving on time. A missing bill could mean an identity thief has taken over your account and changed your billing address to cover his tracks.
- Receiving credit cards that you didn't apply for.
- Being denied credit, or being offered less favorable credit terms, like a high interest rate, for no apparent reason.
- Getting calls or letters from debt collectors or businesses about merchandise or services you didn't buy.
Unfortunately, many consumers learn their identity has been stolen after some damage has been done.
- You may find out when bill collection agencies contact you for overdue debts that you did not incur.
- You may find out when you apply for a mortgage or car loan and learn that problems with your credit history are holding up the loan.
- You may find out when you get something in the mail about an apartment you never rented, a house you never bought, or a job you never held.
Early detection of a potential identity theft can make a big difference. Keep an eye out for any suspicious activity by routinely monitoring financial statements and credit reports.
An amendment to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act requires each of the major nationwide consumer reporting companies to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months.
To order your free annual report from one or all of the national consumer reporting companies, visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call toll-free 877-322-8228.
If you're a victim of identity theft or account fraud, you should notify your bank(s) immediately. If your account(s) is with PCSB Bank, you should call your local branch immediately.
We also suggest that you contact one of the three credit agencies below to place a fraud alert on your account. The agency that you call is required to contact the other agencies so a fraud alert can be placed on their versions of your credit report.
Fraud Victim Assistance Div
|P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
|P.O. Box 9554
Allen, TX 75013
Contact your local police and ask to file a report. Even if the police can't catch the identity thief, having a police report can help you in clearing up your credit records later on.
File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Call the FTC's identity theft hotline toll-free at 1-877-438-4338.
Together, you and PCSB Bank may be able to head off identity theft and account fraud before they ever happen.