Take steps to prevent identity theft

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Ryan Lee
  • 341st Missile Wing Legal Office
Did you know that the Department of Defense has announced that approximately 4 million current and former DoD employees' information may have been compromised? These members should have already been notified and will receive free subscriptions to CSID Protector Plus for 18 months. But what have you done to prevent and mitigate identity theft?

There are many things you can do to prevent and mitigate identity theft. The first and most important thing you should do is monitor your financial account statements and immediately report any suspicious or unusual activity to your financial institutions. Second, you can request a free credit report at www.AnnualCreditReport.com or call 1-877-322-8228.

By law, all consumers are entitled to one free credit report per year from each of the three major credit bureaus. Contact information for the credit bureaus can be found on the Federal Trade Commission website, www.ftc.gov. You can also review additional resources provided on the FTC's identity theft website which provides information on computer intrusions and identity theft.

Third, you can place a fraud alert on your credit file to let creditors know to contact you before opening a new account. To do so, call TransUnion at 1-800-680-7289.

Taking these steps, continuously monitoring your personally identifiable information, and reporting any suspected instances of identity theft to the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center can significantly lower your chances of being a victim of identity theft.