Protect Yourself From Identity Theft

Instances of identity theft have been reported within the Town of Lake Lure. Many consider identity theft to be the fastest growing crime in America, affecting almost half a million people each year.

Enterprising criminals can gather enough information about you through the debris of everyday electronic transactions to pretend they are you. Once this happens, they can gain access to all your financial information. The most common way thieves get information from you is by stealing your wallet. However, other ways include looking over your shoulder at automatic teller machines (ATM) and phone booths to capture your PIN number, or by stealing mail from your mailbox, digging through your discarded trash, or fraudulently ordering a copy of your credit record.

Police departments, government agencies, and public interest groups recommend the following if you have been a victim of identity theft:

  • As soon as you are aware of a problem, contact the three major credit reporting agencies. As a matter of good habit, you're encouraged to examine your credit record once a year to make sure all of the information is accurate. .
  1.  Equifax
  2.  Experian
  3. TransUnion
  • Contact the creditors for any accounts that have been tampered with or opened fraudulently.
  • File a report with your local police or the police in the community where the identity theft took place. Be sure to get a copy of the police report.

To report identity theft and get help on how to restore your credit, contact the Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Response Center, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C.   20580, or call the toll-free phone #: 877-382-4357, or visit www.ftc.gov  For consumer oriented information,  visit www.privacyrights.org