Is your personal, financial and medical information safe? Whether taken from paper, online, computer or mobile devices, identity thieves can use it to drain your bank account, run up credit card charges, open new utility accounts and more. They can even use it to get medications or treatments using your health insurance! These tips can help you protect yourself.
Don’t Make it Easy
- Never carry your social security card
- Don’t reveal personal or health insurance account numbers online or by phone unless you initiate the contact and know exactly who you are dealing with
- Shred all pre-approved credit offers, account statements, financial documents, health insurance forms, prescription and physician statements before disposing
- Choose passwords that are hard to guess
Watch for Red Flags
- Collection notices or unfamiliar accounts on your credit reports. To order free credit reports from the three national reporting companies, go to: www.consumerfinance.gov
- Unexplained bank account withdrawals, charges on credit card statements, or services on medical plan Explanation of Benefits
- Merchants refusing checks; debt collectors calling about debt that is not yours
- Denial of a medical claim because your health plan says you’ve reached your benefits limit
Are You A Victim? Act Quickly!
If your personal information has been stolen, take these initial steps:
- Place a Fraud Alert on your credit file at one of the national credit reporting companies
- Contact the police to file an Identity Theft Affidavit and create an Identity Theft Report
- Notify any affected creditors, institutions or agencies like your credit card company, bank, the department of motor vehicles, and/or the Social Security Administration.
Go to The Federal Trade Commission website for complete details: www.consumer.ftc.gov
For Health Advocate Members
If you are a Health Advocate with our EAP+Work/Life service, call us! We can direct you to other helpful resources regarding identity theft.