How Do I Protect My Privacy?
Authored By: Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Inc.
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Protect your privacy and information from identity theft and financial fraud. Watch this short video and read the information below.
If you don't see the video for this content, please view it at this link:
Protecting Your Privacy
I get tons of junk mail and marketing phone calls.
How can I stop this?
You have a right to limit the amount of sales material that you receive through the mail, phone or e-mail. The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse has a complete list of junk mail providers and how to get off those lists at this web site page: //www.privacyrights.org/content/junk-mail-how-did-they-all-get-my-address
You can write to the following addresses:
Sample Letter: //www.privacyrights.org/Letters/jm1a.htm
Mail Preference Service c/o Direct Marketing Assn.
P.O. Box 9643
Carmel, NY 10512
(must send $1 check or money order and re-register every 3 years)
Create an account to manage preferences online:
This web page also includes instructions for the Deceased Do Not Contact List and Caregivers Do Not Contact List
Register with the Federal Trade Commission's National Do Not Call Registry at:
//www.donotcall.gov or by calling 1-888-382-1222
Limit Credit Card Applications and Other Financial-Related Offers:
Call 1-888-5OPT-OUT (1-888-567-8687) This number is operated by the three major credit reporting agencies - Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
How can I find out if someone else has used my social security number without my permission?
As a rule, it is a good idea to get a copy of your credit report at least once a year. Your credit report will show what accounts have been opened with your name and social security number. You should request a report from each of the main reporting agencies. To request copies of your credit report from each agency call:
Trans Union 800-916-8800
If you have not attempted to obtain credit in the last sixty days, these agencies may charge you a small fee for your credit report.
You can also obtain a free report in a twelve month period if:
1) You are unemployed and will be seeking employment in the next sixty days;
2) You are on public welfare assistance; or,
3) You suspect your report has inaccurate information due to fraud.
Even if none of these situations apply, the credit-reporting agency cannot charge you more than $8 for your report. Once you get your report, look for any accounts that you have not opened and any charges that you have not authorized.
What do I do if I find out that someone is using my identity?
**IF YOU SUSPECT THAT YOU MAY BE A VICTIM OF IDENTITY THEFT YOU SHOULD IMMEDIATELY CONTACT THE THREE CREDIT REPORTING AGENCIES AND ASK THEM TO PLACE A FRAUD ALERT ON YOUR FILE. ***
- Contact the Social Security Administration's Fraud Hotline at 800-269-0271.
- Contact the State Department of Motor Vehicles to see if a new license has been issued in your name.
- File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by telephone or email by contacting their Identity Theft Hotline by telephone at 877-IDTHEFT, TDD: 202-326-2502. You can also contact the FTC by mail at: Identity Theft Clearinghouse, 600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20580-0001.
- File a complaint with the police in your community or the community in which the theft took place. Give the policy a copy of your FTC ID Theft complaint form.
- Close the accounts that you know or believe to have been tampered with or opened fraudulently.
Contact Victims Initiative for Counseling, Advocacy, and Restoration of the Southwest (VICARS) 1-888-343-4414 or visit their web site: //www.idvictim.org.
VICARS helps victims of identity theft and financial fraud:
o Re-acquire their identity
o Restore their credit
o Recoup their losses
o Regain control over their finance
o File a complaint with the FTC online at www.consumer.gov/idtheft.
- Ask for a copy of the FTC's publication called ID Theft: When Bad Things Happen to Your Good Name, a free guide to help you guard against and recover from identity theft.