Identity Theft

Millions of Americans become the victim of Identity Theft or Fraud each year. Here are some steps you can take to keep your identity safe:

What is personal information?
Any combination of the following information can be enough for identity theft to occur:

• Name
• Date of Birth
• Address
• Social Security Number
• Phone Number
• Mother's Maiden Name
• Email Address
• Financial Account Numbers
• ATM Pin
  1. Safeguarding Your Information
  2. If It Happens To You
Basics of safeguarding your information...

Guard your social security number
Do not carry your Social Security card with you and do not ever use your social security number as a PIN or password. Limit the number of identification cards you carry. Many medical cards contain your Social Security number. Do not carry it with you if you do not need it.

Shred, shred, shred
Shred bills, bank statements, receipts, medical billings, credit card offers, and any other items that contain personal or financial information.

Protect your mail
If you are going to be out of town have the post office hold your mail. Place outgoing mail in an official mailbox not your own.

Never give out your personal information
Legitimate companies or agencies do not call or email asking for personal information. Never give out personal information unless you initiated the contact.

Sign up for the Do Not Call Registry
Register your home and mobile residential numbers on the Wisconsin Do Not Call Registry at no cost online or by calling 1-888-382-1222 (TTY 1-866-290-4236); you must call from the phone number you wish to register.

Keep a list of all financial accounts
Keep a list of all credit card and bank account numbers, phone numbers, and expiration dates. This information as well as other sensitive documents should be kept in a safe place, such as a safe.

Stop pre-approved credit card offers
Stop pre-approved credit card officers by calling 1-888-567-8688 or visiting the Opt Out website. Deaf and hard of hearing consumers can opt-in or opt-out of firms offers through the website or by calling 7-1-1 and referring the Relay Operator to 1-800-321-9631.

Check your bills and bank statements
Look at your statements as soon as you get them to see if there are any unauthorized charges or inaccuracies. If there are, report them right away.

Pay attention to internet security
Make certain you have a firewall and updated virus and spyware protection on your computer. Check your browser security settings to make certain that they are not too low.

Use two-factor authentication if offered
Two-factor authentication is a security process in which you, the user, provide two means of identification - something you have and something you know. Something you have is typically a physical token, such as a card or a code sent to your smartphone. Something you know is something memorized, such as personal identification number (PIN) or password.

Check your credit report regularly
Obtain your credit report FREE from each of the three major credit reporting agencies each year. You can get your free credit report from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion by calling 1-877-322-8228 or online here.