Identity Theft

  • Never give your Social Security number over a cellular or cordless phone or personal information to telephone solicitors.
  • Do not carry your Social Security card, Social Security number, birth certificate or passport, unless necessary.
  • Do not put your address, telephone number or driver's license number on a credit card sales receipt.
  • Social Security numbers or phone numbers should not be put on checks.
  • Shred old receipts, credit applications, bank records and any other personal documents before discarding them.
  • Install a locked mailbox with a slot. Do not place mail in an open container, take it to the post office or neighborhood mailbox.
  • Always instruct your credit card issuers and anyone else you purchase goods or services from that you do not wish them to share or sell your information with/to others.
  • Review your credit reports at least once a year.
  • Keep important documents in a safe place: not in your wallet or car. Burglars are just as interested in credit cards, bank accounts and investment statements as they are in your other valuables.
  • Carry only the credit cards you plan to use. If you have credit cards you do not use, store them in a safe place. Cancel the accounts if you will not use them again. Cut up the credit cards before discarding.
  • Keep a list of all credit cards and bank accounts including the account numbers, phone numbers and expiration dates in a safe place.
  • Only use your credit card on the Internet if it will be encrypted. Print out and save receipts and Internet transaction information.
  • Deposit payments and financial mail in a secured post office box, not in your home mailbox.
  • Be smart about passwords and PIN numbers to keep people from gaining unauthorized access to your accounts.

Reporting Identity Theft

  • Get and keep a copy of the police report as proof of the crime.
  • Contact the fraud/security department of the creditor or financial institution of a stolen credit card and close the account.
  • Notify DPS, the Social Security Administration, local law enforcement agency, credit card companies and your bank if your pocketbook, checks or driver's license is stolen.
  • Contact all three credit reporting agencies and place a security alert on your credit.
  • Keep a detailed log of all your contacts with authorities and financial institutions. Make sure all communication is done in writing and sent by certified mail, return receipt requested.
  • Texas law allows you to request a Security Freeze be placed on your consumer file, which requires the credit reporting agency to notify you of material changes to your consumer file and prevents access to your consumer file by some entities.

Contact Agencies for Assistance

Updated January 20, 2023