Basic Safety Tips
General Safety Tips
- Don't carry important numbers or passwords with you.
- Memorize your Social Security number.
- Don't use your date of birth as your password.
- Never leave receipts behind.
- Sign your new credit cards immediately.
- Report lost or stolen credit cards immediately. Make sure you keep the numbers of the issuers somewhere besides on the back of your card!
- Always check your monthly financial statements carefully against your receipts.
- Review your consumer credit report annually.
- Don't leave mail in your mailbox for more than a day. If you are gone, arrange to have a trusted neighbor or friend pick up your mail.
- Double check that mailboxes are official U.S. Postal Service collection boxes before you deposit your mail.
- Shred or tear up all unnecessary documents that have your personal information on them.
- Never put in a credit or debit card number through a website unless it offers a secure transaction.
- A secure transaction will have a "padlock" icon at the bottom strip of the webpage. Also, the URL address will change from "http" to "https" on the page where you input personal data.
Discovering ID Theft
- Checking your financial statements frequently and carefully can be your best first step towards discovering an ID theft.
- The sooner you discover your identity is being used, the sooner you can begin to fight back to lessen the damage the criminal can do.
- If you discover that you are a victim of Identity Theft contact the Idaho Falls Police Department at 208-529-1200.
Other Steps You Can Take
- Call the Federal Trade Commission 1-877-IDTHEFT: For counseling and help to resolve problems arising from this crime.
- Call one of the major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion): to see if any new accounts were opened in your name without your consent. You can place a "fraud alert" on your file. Please note: If you call before you have a police incident number, the alert stays on your information for only 90 days. If you call with a police incident number, the alert will stay on your file for 7 years.
- Keep a record: When you start calling agencies to report your case, keep a record of the names and phone numbers of the people you talked to, along with any supporting documentation.