Guard against identity theft

Protect personal info such as your address or Social Security number. Scammers can use it to make illegal purchases or open fake accounts.

Ways to guard against identity theft

  • Safeguard your personal info and be careful about sharing it.
  • Beware of people tricking you for information.
  • Use complex passwords for your online accounts and change them often.
  • Don’t use the same password on multiple websites.
  • Don't open emails or links from unknown sources.
  • Don't give out your email address without knowing precisely how it will be used.
  • Be wary of phone calls that ask for personal details or make unrealistic promises.

Report identity theft

You can contact any of the three major credit bureaus to place a fraud alert on your credit file. A fraud alert asks creditors to contact you before they open new accounts or change existing ones.

Other steps to take in case of identity theft

  • Close accounts you know or suspect were tampered with or opened fraudulently.
  • File a police report. Get a copy of it to submit to your creditors or others who may require proof of the crime.
  • Report identity theft at
  • Check the online Federal Trade Commission (FTC) resources. The FTC has an identity theft database that can be used for investigations. Also, filing a complaint helps the FTC learn more about identity theft and the problems it creates.
Last updated: December 15, 2023

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