NEWS AND INFORMATION
Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft
In a world where information is shared openly via the internet, it is wise to be cautious about giving out personal and financial information.Identity theft costs consumers more that $50 billion each year. If you believe you have been a victim of identity theft you can contact The Division of Consumer Protection's Consumer Assistance Hotline at 1-800-697-1220.
- Keep personal information in a safe place.
- Protect your social security number. Provide it only when absolutely necessary.
- Cross shred your personal and financial information before you discard it.
- Safeguard your medical records and information regarding your dependents.
- Refrain from providing personal information on the phone, through the mail, or over the internet.
- Make a habit of monitoring your financial accounts and billing statements for questionable activity.
- Check your credit report regularly for any inaccuracies.
- Never click on links in unsolicited e-mails even if they appear to come from businesses you know. They suggest typing in the web address you know to be correct, and contact the business through that address.
- Use security software to protect your computer and update it regularly.
- Don't create a predictable online password like your birth date, your mother's maiden name or that last four digits of your social security or military ID number.