Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information without your permission to commit fraud or other crimes. You can make it much harder for a thief to steal your personal information. These simple tips may help you minimize your risk.

  • Review your credit reports periodically.
  • Review your statements and account information regularly. Report suspicious transactions immediately.
  • Never provide your personal or financial information in response to an unsolicited phone request.
  • Beware of phishing emails or text messages asking for your confidential personal information such as passwords, PINs, or credit card numbers.
  • To prevent a credit reporting company from releasing your credit report without your consent, consider adding a security freeze on your credit bureau files.
  • Place passwords on your bank accounts if you have concerns.
  • Change your online banking and other important passwords regularly and make sure to use strong passwords that are not easily guessed.
  • Pay attention to your billing cycles and follow up with creditors if your bills don’t arrive on time.
  • Cancel unused credit accounts.
  • Carry only the identification information and the number of credit and debit cards that you actually need.
  • Don’t carry your Social Security card in your wallet.
  • Give your Social Security Number only when absolutely necessary. Ask to use another method, such as a password.
  • Before you dispose of them, shred old confidential documents such as charge receipts, copies of pre-approved credit applications, insurance forms, and bank statements.
  • Deposit outgoing mail in post office collection boxes, rather than in an unsecured residential or commercial mailbox.
  • Be wary of promotional scams. Identity thieves use phony offers to persuade you to give them personal information.
  • Secure personal information at home, especially if you have roommates or people that you may not know well coming into your home.
  • Be aware of security in places you frequent and your other surroundings.
  • See more tips to protect yourself online.

Quickly report lost or stolen information or contact Member Services at (804) 323-6800 or (800) 285-6609 if you have questions or we can help you in any way.

Links to additional information