Protect Yourself from Identity Theft
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Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

Is the fear of identity theft preventing you from moving forward in your business?


Protect yourself and reduce your risk of becoming a victim of identity theft.


Thieves steal from your mailbox!  Place your outgoing mail in post office collection boxes or secured mailboxes.  Collect your incoming mail as soon after delivery as possible.


Destroy junk mail credit card offers before discarding them.  Shred all old bank and credit card statements.  Look for information on documents that a thief could use to steal your identity including account numbers, your social security number, and your driver’s license number.


Do not have your social security number, driver’s license number, or home phone number pre-printed on your checks.


When you pay your credit card by check, do not write your account number on the check.


Review your bank and credit card statements promptly for any unusual activity.  Destroy receipts after you have reviewed your statements


It’s a good idea to copy the front and back of your credit cards, and keep them in a safe place.  If they are stolen from you, you’ll have all the information you need to cancel them immediately!


Protect your wallet!  Consider all of the personal information you carry with you every day!


If you sell or donate your personal computer, be sure to clear all data from your computer’s hard drive.


If you are a victim of identity theft

  • Get a notebook and write down who you called, the name of the person you spoke to, the date, details of the call, and next action required.
  • Any correspondence you are asked to provide should be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested.
  • Contact your local police department, and notify them you’ve been the victim of identity theft.  Give them as many details as you currently have available.  They will want copies of documentation you receive from your bank and/or credit card companies.  They will assign a case number and an investigator.  As you collect additional information, be sure to give the police copies as evidence to add to your case.
  • Contact your bank and creditors immediately.  Ask to speak to someone in the security or fraud department.  They may request you to fill out fraud affidavits.  The Federal Trade Commission provides a uniform affidavit that most creditors will accept (
  • Request copies of the fraudulent transactions.
  • If your credit cards have been used fraudulently, request replacement cards with new account numbers. Request the old account be closed and noted as “account closed at consumer’s request”.

YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR DEBT INCURRED AS A RESULT OF IDENTITY THEFT!  If debt collectors attempt to have you pay the outstanding balance, inform them you are the victim of identify theft.  Request their fraud affidavit form, and ask them to confirm in writing that you do not owe the debt and that the account has been closed!


You can report identify theft to all three of the major credit bureaus with just one phone call to an automated line.  As a victim of identity theft, you will be sent a free copy of your credit report by each of the credit bureaus.  Each agency will list their toll free number on the credit report if you need to speak to someone in their fraud department.

  • Equifax:          1-800-525-6285
  • Experian:        1-888-397-3742
  • TransUnion    1-800-680-7289

When you receive your credit reports, review them carefully.  Disputed information that cannot be verified must be deleted from your file.  If your report contains incorrect information, it must be corrected.  It’s a good idea to order another credit report in a few months, to verify no unusual activity has taken place.


Do you have someone to talk to when it comes to figuring out ‘best practices’ in your business, practices that can avoid issues like identity theft problems?  Talking to our clients on a regular basis is a staple of what we do in helping our clients create business financial confidence for themselves. Maybe now’s a good time to to look at the video and worksheets so that you can start your way to having your own Business Financial Confidence Map?

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