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RECOGNIZE Phone Fraud Learn about common telemarketing scams and how to avoid them.
REPORT Phone Fraud Your complaint helps law enforcement officials track down scam artists and stop them.
REGISTER For the National
Do Not Call Registry
The Registry gives you a choice about whether to receive telemarketing calls at home.

Identity Theft and Telemarketing Fraud

Your personal information is valuable. Protect it! Guard your:

  • Social Security number

  • Bank and credit card numbers

  • Driver's license number

Some criminals lie on the telephone to get your personal information. They may lie about who they are, claiming that they're from a legitimate company and that you have a problem with your account. Or they may pose as representatives of a bank or government agency and ask you to confirm your billing information. Once they have your personal information, they can use it to commit identity theft charging your existing credit cards, opening new credit card, checking, or savings accounts, writing fraudulent checks, or taking out loans in your name.

Many people learn that their identity has been stolen only after the damage has been done. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) wants you to know that you can minimize your risk of identity theft, especially by pre-texters - people who misrepresent who they are and why they're calling.

If you think you're a victim of identity theft, take these steps IMMEDIATELY:

  • Place a "Fraud Alert" on your credit reports, and review those reports carefully. The alert tells creditors to follow certain procedures before they open new accounts in your name or make changes to your existing accounts.

  • Close the affected accounts. Close any accounts that have been tampered with or established fraudulently.

  • File a police report. This is an essential step in claiming your rights.

  • Report it to the FTC. Your report helps law enforcement officials across the country in their investigations. Visit ftc.gov/idtheft or call 1-877-ID-THEFT.

FTC Publications

Place a Fraud Alert*

If you think your accounts have been compromised place an initial fraud alert on your credit report by calling one of these companies. This fraud alert lasts for 90 days.

*Placing a fraud alert entitles you to free copies of your credit reports.

“I received a copy of my credit report and saw about a half a dozen items that I didn't know anything about. It has affected my credit rating so badly that I couldn't get a student loan."

Monitor your accounts and billing statements each month.

Look for inquiries from companies you haven't contacted, accounts you didn't open, and debts that you can't explain.

Keep Account Info to Yourself

Legitimate companies won't call or email you asking for your account number or password. If you are concerned about your account, call the number on your financial statements or on the back of your credit card.
And don't assume that you can trust Caller ID to let you know where a caller is located. Because scammers use Internet calling technology, the area code you see may not reflect where they really are.

Did you Know?

AnnualCreditReport.com is the only site where you can order a free copy of your credit report from each of the three credit reporting companies each year under federal law. Sound-alike sites will charge you ─ even if their name says “free.”