Fraud Reference Guide

If you believe your member account or personal information has been compromised, we encourage you to take the following steps:

Order Your Free Credit Report.  To order your free credit report, visit www.annualcreditreport.com, call toll-free 1-877-322-8228, or complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form on the US Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) website at www.consumer.ftc.gove and mail it to:

Annual Credit Report Request Service

PO Box 105281

Atlanta, GA 30348-5281

The three consumer reporting agencies provide free annual credit reports only through the website, toll-free number or request form.

When you receive your credit report, review it carefully. Look for accounts you did not open. Look in the “Inquiries” section for names of creditors from whom you haven’t requested credit. Some companies bill under names other than their store or commercial names. The consumer reporting agency will be able to tell you when that is the case. Look in the “Personal Information” section for any inaccuracies in your information, such as home address and Social Security Number. If you see anything you do not understand, call the consumer reporting agency at the telephone number on the report. Errors in this information may be a warning sign of possible identity theft. You should notify the consumer reporting agencies of any inaccuracies in your report, whether due to error or fraud, as soon as possible so the information can be investigated and, if found to be in error, corrected. If there are accounts or charges you did not authorize, immediately notify the appropriate consumer reporting agency by telephone and in writing. Consumer reporting agency staff will review your report with you. If the information can’t be explained, then you will need to call the creditors involved. Information that can’t be explained also should be reported to your local police or sheriff’s office, as it may signal criminal activity.

 
Report Incidents. If you detect any unauthorized transactions in a financial account, promptly notify your payment card company or financial institution. If you detect any incident of identity theft or fraud, promptly report the incident to law enforcement, the FTC and your state’s Attorney General. If you believe your identity has been stolen, the FTC recommends that you take these steps:
Place an initial fraud alert.
Order your credit reports.
Create an FTC Identity Theft Affidavit by submitting a report about the theft at www.ftc.gov/complaint or by calling the FTC
File a police report about the identity theft and get a copy of the police report or the report number. Bring your FTC Identity Theft Affidavit with you when you file the police report.

Your Identity Theft Report is your FTC Identity Theft Affidavit, plus your police report. You may be able to use your Identity Theft Report to remove fraudulent information from your credit report, prevent companies from refurnishing fraudulent information to a consumer reporting agency, stop a company from collecting a debt that resulted from identity theft, place an extended seven-year fraud alert with consumer reporting agencies, and obtain information from companies about accounts the identity thief opened or misused.

You can contact the FTC to learn more about how to protect yourself from becoming a victim of identity theft and how to repair identity theft:

 

Federal Trade Commission

Consumer Response Center

600 Pennsylvania Ave NW

Washington DC 20580

1-877-IDTHEFT (438-4338)

www.ftc.gov/idtheft/

 
Consider Placing a Fraud Alert on Your Credit File. A fraud alert helps protect you against the possibility of an identity thief opening new credit accounts in your name. When a merchant checks the credit history of someone applying for credit, the merchant gets a notice that the applicant may be the victim of identity theft. The alert notifies the merchant to take steps to verify the identity of the applicant.

You can place a fraud alert on your credit report by calling any one of the toll-free numbers provided below. You will reach an automated telephone system that allows you to flag your file with a fraud alert at all three consumer reporting agencies. For more information on fraud alerts, you may also contact the FTC, as indicated above.

Equifax
Equifax Credit Information Services, Inc.

P.O. Box 740241 Atlanta, GA 30374
1-800-525-6285
www.equifax.com


Experian
Experian Inc.

P.O. Box 9554 Allen, TX 75013
1-888-397-3742
www.experian.com


TransUnion
TransUnion LLC

P.O. Box 2000

Chester, PA 19022-2000
1-800-680-7289
www.transunion.com 
 

Consider Placing a Security Freeze on Your Credit File. You may wish to place a security freeze (also known as a credit freeze) on your credit file. A security freeze is designed to prevent potential creditors from accessing your credit file at the consumer reporting agencies without your consent. There may be fees for placing, lifting, and/or removing a security freeze, which generally range from $5-$20 per action. Unlike a fraud alert, you must place a security freeze on your credit file at each consumer reporting agency individually. For more information on security freezes, you may contact the three nationwide consumer reporting agencies or the FTC as described above. As the instructions for establishing a security freeze differ from state to state, please contact the three nationwide consumer reporting agencies to find out more information.

The consumer reporting agencies may require proper identification prior to honoring your request. For example, you may be asked to provide:


  • Your full name with middle initial and generation (such as Jr., Sr., II, III)

  • Your Social Security Number

  • Your date of birth

  • Addresses where you have lived over the past five years

  • A legible copy of a government-issued identification card, such as a state drivers’ license or military ID card

  • Proof of your current residential address, such as a current utility bill or account statement


For Montana Residents. You can obtain information from the Montana Office of the Attorney General about steps you can take to avoid identity theft. You may contact them at:

Office of the Attorney General
Justice Building, Third Floor
215 North Sanders
P.O. Box 201401
Helena, MT 59620-1401
Phone: (406) 444-2026
E-mail: contactdoj@mt.gov