Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft
If you suspect that you may have been the victim of Identity theft, please call a Taleris Member Services Representitive at 800.828.6446 to report the incident. We will take immediate action to secure your accounts.
Identity theft (or “true name fraud”) occurs when a criminal obtains and uses a consumer’s personal information such as credit card numbers, bank and credit union account numbers, insurance information, and Social Security numbers to purchase goods or services fraudulently. Generally, criminals will do this by opening new accounts in your name, purchasing products, and then leaving you to pay the bill.
In this age of information, criminals can acquire personal information about others much easier than before. Many legitimate businesses share or sell information about their customers without knowing how it will be used or misused. Now more than ever, consumers need to be proactive about protecting their personal information.
Ohio law addresses the growing problem of identity theft. The law, which went into effect August 25, 1999, follows a federal law passed in 1998, making it unlawful for someone to use another person’s identifying information.
Indications That You Are a Victim of Identity Theft
- Receiving calls from bill collectors of companies for which you have not bought goods or services.
- Failing to receive bills, statements, or other mail signaling an address change by the identity thief.
- Receiving cards or business statements for accounts for which you did not apply.
Phone Numbers for Reporting Identity
Credit Reporting Bureaus
- Equifax to report fraud 800-525-6285
- Equifax to order credit report 800-685-1111
- Experian to report fraud 888-397-3742
- Experian to order credit report 800-301-7195
- Trans Union to report fraud 800-680-7289
- Trans Union to order credit report 800-916-8800
Social Security Administration
- To report fraud 800-269-0271
- To order benefit statement 800-722-1213
Fraudulent Check Use
- CheckRight 800-766-2748
- Equifax 800-437-5120
- TeleCheck 800-710-9898
- SCAN 800-262-7771
- Certegy 800-437-5120
- Global Payments 800-766-2748
Federal Trade Commission
- Identity Theft Clearing House 877-438-4338
Tips for Preventing Identity Theft
- Shred all papers containing financial and personal information.
- Make a list of credit cards, ATM cards, debit cards, credit union and investment accounts and phone numbers associated with each and keep the list in a safety deposit box or fireproof safe.
- Never give or “verify” account numbers over the phone.
- Do not use mother’s maiden name or other common things (such as address numbers) as passwords for credit and debit cards.
- Close all unused credit, credit union and bank accounts and shred credit offers.
- Don’t carry your social security card in your wallet.
- Don’t leave outgoing payments in your mailbox.
- Always use secure websites for Internet purchases.
- Never keep PIN numbers with ATM or debit cards.
- Don’t discard a computer without having first deleted all personal data.
- Order a credit report at least once a year and look for abnormalities.
- Remove your name from the marketing lists of the three credit-reporting agencies; this will limit the number of pre-screened offers of credit you receive in the mail. To do this, call the Credit Reporting Industry opt-out phone number. The three major credit bureaus use the same toll-free number for this service: 888.567.8688.
- Remove your name, home address and home telephone number from many mailing and telephone lists through the Direct Marketing Association. This free service is only available for individuals and “home” addresses (not businesses). You will be removed from the Direct Marketing Association members lists for five years. The Direct Marketing Association provides information and tools to remove your name from mailing lists, get your name off telemarketing lists and to remove your name from email list; along with some other helpful information. To access their Consumer Assistance page, CLICK HERE. The link will open in a new tab and take you to a site operated by the Direct Marketing Association.
Identity Theft Action Steps
- Contact the fraud department of all three (3) credit bureaus and fill out a victim impact statement.
- Contact all creditors for accounts that have been opened fraudulently and follow up this action with a letter, sending it certified mail.
- Contact local law enforcement (in your community and/or the community in which the identity theft took place).
- Contact your financial institution to flag your accounts.
- Keep a record of all contacts.
- Alert Social Security on the Fraud Hotline (800-269-0271).
- Contact your state DMV to see if an additional license was issued in your name.
- Close any accounts that have been tampered with or opened fraudulently.
- If your checks have been stolen, close the account and ask your financial institution to notify the appropriate check verification service (TeleCheck, Check Systems, etc.).
- If mail has been stolen, contact your local postal inspector.
Identity Theft Resource Center
The Identity Theft Resource Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to understanding of Identity Theft and related issues. Their site offers a wide variety of information including: Victim Resources, Consumer Resources, State and Local Resources, Scams and Consumer Alerts and more. To access their site, CLICK HERE. This link will open in a new tab and take you to a site operated by the Identity Theft Resource Center.