Protect yourself against identity theft by using the following tips:
- Always use security software with firewall and anti-virus protections, along with strong passwords.
- Recognize and avoid phishing emails, calls, and texts asking for personal information.
- Do not click on links or download attachments from unknown or suspicious emails or other sources.
- Protect personal data. Don't carry your Social Security Card, and make sure your tax records are secure.
- Monitor your bank accounts and credit reports for any unusual or unauthorized activity.
- Notify financial institutions and credit card companies immediately if your wallet or credit cards are lost or stolen, and file a police report.
If you believe you are a victim of identity theft/fraud:
- Visit IdentityTheft.gov to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
- Contact one of the three major credit bureaus to place a fraud alert on your credit records (Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion).
- Contact your financial institutions and close any financial or credit accounts opened without your permission or tampered with by identity thieves.
- File a police report.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES AND INFORMATION
Contact the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office to file a report or for more information: 301-475-8008.
- Victim Assistance Information/Checklist for Victims of Identity Theft/Fraud
- Comptroller of Maryland - Taxpayer assistance and identity protection.
- Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Consumer Information - Knowing how to protect your information - and your identity - is a must in the 21st century.
- Internal Revenue Service (IRS) - The IRS combats tax-related identity theft with an aggressive strategy of prevention, detection, and victim assistance.