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Archive for Tuesday, May 23, 2006

How to check for identity theft

May 23, 2006

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The Department of Veterans Affairs says it is not necessary for veterans to contact financial institutions or cancel credit cards and bank accounts in the case of identity theft. Here is what veterans can do to protect themselves:

¢ Be vigilant. Carefully monitor bank and credit card statements. Report unusual activity immediately to the financial institution involved and contact the Federal Trade Commission.

¢ If you detect suspicious or unusual activity, do the following:

1. Contact the fraud department of one of the three major credit bureaus:

Equifax: 800-525-6285; www.equifax.com; P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241

Experian: 888-EXPERIAN (397-3742); www.experian.com; P.O. Box 9532, Allen, TX 75013

TransUnion: 800-680-7289; www.transunion.com; Fraud Victim Assistance Division, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834-6790

2. Close any accounts that have been tampered with or opened fraudulently.

3. File a report with your local police department or the police department in the community where the identity theft took place.

4. File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission by using its identity theft hotline at 877-438-4338, online at www.consumer.gov/idtheft, or by mail at Identity Theft Clearinghouse, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20580.

¢ For more information, visit the Department of Veterans Affairs' special Web site, www.firstgov.gov, or call 800-FED-INFO (333-4636).

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