FAQs - Identity Theft Protection

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Can Deluxe Provent® Identity Theft Services really protect me against identity theft?

Deluxe_provent Yes. Even though data thieves are pretty clever, and no service can provide a 100% guarantee, any one of the Deluxe Provent® services is your best chance of never becoming a victim—especially if you’re a frequent user of credit cards, the Internet or if you plan to apply for a loan within the next three years. Deluxe Provent® services give you an early warning so you can disrupt thieves before they get started.

If I am not enrolled in any of the identity theft services, how can I detect if identity thieves are using information to steal my identity?

You should be suspicious about any of the following circumstances:

  • Failing to receive bills or other mail. This may signal an address change by an identity thief.
  • Receiving credit cards for which you did not apply.
  • Being served court papers or arrest warrants for actions you did not commit .
  • Being denied credit for no apparent reason when you believe your credit rating is good.
  • Receiving calls or letters from debt collectors or businesses about merchandise or services you did not buy.
  • Unexplained charges or withdrawals from bank and credit card statements.
Though any of these indications could be a result of a simple clerical error, you should never assume there’s been a mistake and do nothing. Always follow up with the business or institution to find out; you may have become a victim of identity fraud.

If I am not enrolled in any of the identity theft services, what should I do if I become a victim of identity fraud?

According to the U.S. Attorney General's office, the Secret Service oversees identity theft, and this office advises you to:

Report the crime to the police immediately

  • Get a copy of your police report or case number. Your credit card companies, bank, and the insurance company may ask you to reference the report to verify the crime.

Immediately call your credit card issuers

  • Get replacement cards with new account numbers and ask that the old account be processed as "account closed at consumer's request" for credit record purposes.
  • Follow up this telephone conversation with a letter to the credit card company that summarizes your request in writing.

Call the fraud units of the three credit reporting agencies

  • Ask that your accounts be flagged.
  • Add a victim's statement to your report that requests that they contact you to verify future credit applications:

Equifax Credit Information Services – Consumer Fraud Div.
P.O. Box 105496
Atlanta, Georgia 30348-5496
Phone: (800) 997-2493
www.equifax.com

Experian
P.O. Box 2104
Allen, Texas 75013-2104
Phone: (888) EXPERIAN (397-3742)
www.experian.com

TransUnion Fraud Victim Assistance Dept.
P.O. Box 390
Springfield, PA 19064-0390
Phone: (800) 680-7289
www.transunion.com

Keep a log of all conversations with authorities and financial entities

  • Follow up with them to make sure that all creditors or credit bureaus have received what they need from you.

File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

  • The FTC is a clearinghouse for complaints by victims of identity theft. Although the FTC does not have the authority to bring criminal cases, the Commission assists victims of identity fraud by providing them with information on identity theft to help them resolve financial and other problems.

If you have been a victim of identity theft, you can file a complaint with the FTC by contacting the FTC's Consumer Response Center:


By phone:

Toll-free: 877-FTC-HELP (382-4357)
TDD: 202-326-2502

By mail:

Consumer Response Center
Federal Trade Commission
600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20580

On the Web:

https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov

For consumer information:

www.ftc.gov/ftc/consumer.shtm

Review your reports regularly and make sure all changes you requested have been effected.

I monitor my credit bureau account on a regular basis; doesn’t that eliminate my risk of identity fraud?

While monitoring your credit bureau report is important, it’s actually the last warning you can receive before financial fraud is committed. The typical sequence of identity theft is as follows:

  1. Identity thieves steal your personal information in a variety of clever ways.
  2. They establish a false identity or alias using your information.
  3. They open a financial account (credit card, checking account, loan) in your name without you being aware of it. (this is where bureau monitoring is helpful).
  4. They use the account to run up charges and expenses.
  5. The victim is then accused by creditors of owing money for transactions made in their name.
  6. Identity fraud victims spend seemingly endless amounts of time trying to clear their name.

Please note: Even if creditors are notified of the fraudulent use of your identification, your original data stays in the possession of the identity thief for potential use in the future.

This is why it is so important to monitor both the Internet and your credit bureau report.

How do identity thieves typically steal information?

Identity thieves are “professionals” and may steal your information in a variety of different ways:

  • They “dumpster dive” through your trash at home or work to find bills and credit statements.
  • They fraudulently obtain credit reports by either posing as a prospective landlord or misusing an employer's authorized access to credit reports.
  • They steal credit and debit card account numbers when your card is processed.
  • They steal your wallets and purses.
  • They selectively go through your mail or complete a change of address to redirect your mail in order to steal your credit card statements or tax information.
  • They use camera phones to take pictures of your credit or personal information while you complete a retail transaction.
  • They scam information from you by posing as a legitimate business, person or government official.
  • They “phish” your email accounts. You can protect yourself by being aware of:
    • Emails that appear to be from well-known, established organizations telling you to “respond immediately” regarding an issue with your account.
    • Emails containing a link that redirects you to a phony site which looks legitimate, and asks for your most personal information and passwords.

I am a very cautious person; I shred my documents, take care when handing my credit cards to retailers, and only shop at the most secure internet sites. Haven’t I reduced my chances of becoming a victim?

Congratulations on your caution; yes, you have reduced your chances of becoming a victim of identity fraud, but not nearly as much as when Deluxe Provent®  monitors both the internet and your credit bureau report for you.

  • Internet sites apply greatest security to your account numbers, but your personal information is often treated with less caution and can wind up in cyber space.
  • Experienced identity thieves understand this weakness on even the most secure Web sites.
  • The issue to consider is the degree of confidence you need to feel secure that your life won’t be turned “upside down” while you fight City Hall to clear your name if you become an identity fraud victim.
  • Why have any doubt at all when complete protection is easy and affordable with Deluxe Provent®   services providing early warning so you can disrupt thieves before they get started, making it almost impossible for identity thieves to turn you into a victim?
 
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