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We take care to safeguard your information. Here are some tips to ensure you have the best protection possible for your identity and personal information.

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Identity theft is the use of an individual's personal information such as a social security number, mother's maiden name, date of birth, or an account number to fraudulently open new credit card accounts, charge existing credit card accounts, write checks, open bank accounts or obtain new loans. Identity thieves may obtain this information through a number of means, including:

There is now a new form of Identity Theft called Phishing. We urge you to read our web page about Phishing and how you can protect yourself.

How to prevent "Identity Theft"

If you are a victim of "Identity Theft"

Contact the fraud departments of the three major credit bureaus and request they place a fraud alert and a victim's statement in your file. The fraud alert puts creditors on notice that you have been the victim of fraud and the victim's statement asks them not to open additional accounts without first contacting you.

Telephone numbers for the fraud departments of these credit bureaus are: Trans Union: 1-800-680-7289; Equifax: 1-800-525-6285; Experian: 1-888-397-3742. Credit bureaus must provide a free copy of your credit report if you have reason to believe the report is inaccurate because of fraud and you submit a request in writing.

Review your report to make sure no additional fraudulent accounts have been opened, or unauthorized changes made to your existing accounts. Also, check the section of your report that lists "inquiries" and request that inquiries from companies that opened the fraudulent accounts be removed.

Contact financial institutions or other creditors where you think your account(s) may be the subject of identity theft. Request that they restrict access to your account, change your account password, or close your account if there is evidence your account has been the target of criminal activity.

Also, file a report with your local police department. Contact the FTC's Identity Theft Hotline at 1-877-ID-THEFT (438-4338). Your information goes into a secure consumer fraud database and is shared with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.

Equifax: 1-800-525-6285; www.equifax.com
P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241

Experian: 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742); www.experian.com
P.O. Box 9532, Allen, TX 75013

TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289; www.transunion.com
Fraud Victim Assistance Division, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834-6790