If you are an EverSafe Member, call EverSafe immediately at 1-888-575-3837.
If you are not an EverSafe Member, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center at www.idtheftcenter.org or call 1-888-400-5530.
In addition to contacting EverSafe or the Identity Theft Resource Center, you should file a fraud alert with credit reporting agencies. Filing a fraud alert will help stop identity thieves from opening any accounts in your name. The alert will show on your credit report, and businesses issuing credit are required to obtain proof of identity anytime they encounter this alert.
To file a fraud alert, call one of the three credit bureaus and tell them you would like to file a fraud alert. The credit bureaus will not charge you to file a fraud alert. The bureau that you call is required to contact the other two bureaus. The alert lasts for 90 days. If you wish to extend the alert, you will need to call again after 90 days. If you are an EverSafe Member, EverSafe will send you an alert reminding you to refile the fraud alert.
If you are not planning on using your credit for a long time (applying for a credit card, home mortgage, home equity line of credit, a car loan or any other type of loan), you can freeze your credit report. Unlike the filing of a fraud alert, you must contact each credit bureau individually as shown below. There will be a cost to file a credit freeze, which varies by the state you live in.
If your identity has been compromised, it is important for you to monitor your credit report as well as other data sources that may indicate that your identity is being used by someone other than you.
If your identity has never been compromised, you are still at risk. Data breaches involving your personal information may occur even if you have never placed the information online.
The easiest way to monitor your credit report and other data sources is to subscribe to EverSafe. There is a monthly subscription cost for EverSafe, but the monitoring will occur each and every day; EverSafe includes algorithms to automatically detect and alert you to suspicious activity.
You can also monitor your credit report at no cost annually from each of the three major credit bureaus. To do so, visit www.annualcreditreport.com. If you are going to pursue this approach, EverSafe recommends that you pull your Equifax credit report immediately. Follow this up by requesting your Experian credit report four months later and your TransUnion credit report eight months later. Restart the process by reordering your Equifax credit report 12 months later, followed by the Experian credit report 16 months later and your Trans Union credit report 20 months later and so on. This will not enable you to monitor your credit report daily and you may be taking unnecessary risk, but it will save you the monthly subscription cost.
In addition to monitoring your credit report, EverSafe will also monitor the opening of new accounts at www.EarlyWarning.com. If you decide not to subscribe to EverSafe, you may contact Early Warning for a free copy of your consumer report at 1-800-325-7775. Early Warning does not charge consumers a fee for a copy of your consumer report.
LexisNexis provides a free public records search to help you review public records for suspicious activity associated with your identity. The search includes public records with information specific to real estate transactions and ownership data, liens, judgments, bankruptcy records, professional license information and historical addresses. Request a Full File Disclosure by visiting https://personalreports.lexisnexis.com/access_your_full_file_disclosure.jsp and fill out the Full File Disclosure Request Form. Once they have verified your identity, all information will be mailed to you.
Below is a list of sites where you can opt out of marketing offers or opt out of being contacted with marketing offers. Please use these links to visit each of the sites and opt out of their respective lists. This will substantially reduce internet, direct mail and telemarketing offers. This is not intended to be a complete list. There are over 250 companies that legitimately sell your information to marketers. We have included the largest providers and providers who cover multiple companies.
Consumer credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, Innovis, TransUnion): A little-known fact is that the consumer credit reporting agencies are permitted to include your name on lists used to make credit or insurance marketing offers (e.g. credit card offers, auto insurance offers). To remove yourself from these lists, visit the following site to complete your opt out. Opt out of Credit Agencies
Additional information is available on the EverSafe Pre-Screened Credit Offers page
Direct Marketing Association (DMA): The DMA represents nearly 3,600 organizations, including most of the leaders in the direct marketing community, and can help you manage your mail preferences. Visit the following link to opt out of organizations which are members of the DMA:
Direct mail opt out from the Direct Marketing Association
The DMA also has a special section for caregivers to use that is accessible at:
Caregiver's direct mail opt out from the Direct Marketing Association.
Acxiom: Acxiom is a company that collects data for their marketing clients so that they can advertise to tailored audiences. The company gathers personal information about education, family, income, mortgage, interests, etc. If you would like to opt out of Acxiom providing marketers your data, you can opt out online.
There are other actions and links on our Acxiom Data Page
Towerdata: Towerdata is a company that assists marketing companies in enhancing their email marketing with updated information on consumers' addresses, phone numbers, interests, demographics and similar personal data. You can prevent them from selling the information associated with your email address.
Register on the do-not-call list: Another way to reduce harassment and fraudulent activity is to eliminate telemarketers by adding your phone number into the National Do Not Call Registry from the Federal Trade Commission. Detailed information is available on our do-not-call information page. Note: the do-not-call-list does not apply to charities or companies for which you are already a customer.
Opt out of people search services:
Another way to prevent criminals from getting your personal information from legitimate web services is to opt out of people search services. Below are some of the more popular ones that EverSafe recommends that you opt out of:
Unsubscribe from marketing emails: Any legitimate marketing email must have an opt out or unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email to be compliant with the CAN-SPAM Act. To eliminate email marketing offers which continue after opting out at these sites, click on the opt out or unsubscribe link in any email marketing message you receive and follow the instructions.
Network Advertising Initiative: The Network Advertising Initiative offers a free tool that will check advertising cookies on your computer. It will then allow you to create an "opt out" cookie that will restrict the selected companies from delivering ads tailored to you.
Consumers are targeted every day for identity theft, check fraud, online fraud through email and Internet scams, elder financial abuse and more. Criminals are constantly developing new schemes to commit identity theft and fraud.
Here are some resources available to provide you with information and education to help protect you from becoming a victim:
AARP Scam Alert - www.aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/fraud-watch-network
Consumer Finance Protection Bureau - www.consumerfinance.gov/older-americans
Federal Trade Commission - www.consumer.ftc.gov
Identity Theft Resource Center - www.idtheftcenter.org
National Center on Elder Abuse - ncea.acl.gov
National Adult Protective Services - www.napsa-now.org
National Center for Victims of Crime - www.victimsofcrime.org
National Council on Aging - www.ncoa.org
Before investing with a new broker or financial advisor, consider checking out the respective credentials at the following resources:
Check Broker/Advisor Credentials - www.brokercheck.finra.org, www.adviserinfo.sec.gov
Senior Investor Tools - ServeOurSeniors.org
Securities Helpline for Seniors - 1-844-574-3577