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Office of Information Security

Identity Theft & Identity Fraud

Identity theft is a crime in which an imposter obtains key pieces of a person's information such as Social Security Number, driver's license numbers and other such items and uses it for their own personal gain. This can include obtaining credit, goods, services, money, or property.

This site is intended to increase public awareness of identity theft as well as to provide resources for those affected.

Identity Theft or Data Compromise Victims

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Identity Theft Site is a thorough and up-to-date source of information on what steps you need to take to defend against or recover from identity theft.

Tips for Preventing Identity Theft

  • Cancel unused credit cards.
  • Don't carry your Social Security card, passport, or birth certificate with you, except when necessary.
  • Shred or burn all credit card receipts, solicitations, canceled checks, or other financial documents that have your personal information on them before throwing away.
  • Adopt a "need to know" approach to your personal data. Don't give out your Social Security number, mother's maiden name, or any account information over the phone, unless you are sure the caller is legitimate.
  • Never include your Social Security number on personal checks and only release your Social Security number when absolutely necessary. If a business requests it for identification, ask to have an alternative number used.
  • Never write down PINs and passwords. Memorize them instead. Do not use any part of your Social Security number, your name, birth date, or any easy to guess words as your password or pin.
  • Inspect your financial statements and immediately report unauthorized purchases or activity.
  • Consider installing a locked mailbox at your residence or having mail sent to a PO box.
  • Order and review your credit report at least once a year from the national credit reporting bureaus (information below).
  • Have your name removed from lists sold to companies offering pre-approved credit cards by calling the national credit reporting bureaus (information below).

Credit Reporting Bureaus

The following are the three primary credit reporting bureaus. Georgia residents are entitled to two free credit reports a year. If you are a Georgia resident please visit the Governor's Office of Consumer Protection site for information on your free credit reports.

Georgia residents can also complete an on line Credit Report Request Form to receive copies of your credit reports from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

If you are not a Georgia resident, you can refer to the information below on the three main national credit bureaus:

  • Equifax
    • To Report Fraud: - P.O. Box 740250 / Atlanta, GA 30374 / (800) 525-6285
    • To Acquire Credit Report: P.O. Box 740241 / Atlanta, GA 30374-0241 / (800) 685-1111
    • To dispute information in report: Call the phone number provided on your credit report.
    • To opt out of pre-approved offers: Equifax Options / P.O. Box 740123 / Atlanta GA 30374-0123 / (888) 5OPTOUT
  • Experian (formerly TRW)
    • To report fraud: P.O. Box 1017 / Allen, TX 75013 / (888) EXPERIAN / (888) 397-3742 / Fax: (800) 301-7196
    • To order a copy of of your credit report: / P.O. Box 2104 / Allen TX 75013 / (888) EXPERIAN
    • To dispute information in report: Call the phone number provided on your credit report.
    • To opt out of pre-approved offers: P.O. Box 919 / Allen, TX 75013 / (888) 5OPTOUT
  • TransUnion:
    • To report fraud: P.O. Box 6790 / Fullerton, CA 92634 / (800) 680-7289
    • To order a copy of of your credit report: P.O. Box 390 / Springfield, PA 19064 / (800) 888-4213
    • To dispute information in report: Call the phone number provided on your credit report.
    • To opt out of pre-approved offers: P.O Box 97328 / Jackson, MS 39238 / (888) 5OPTOUT

What Do I Do if I Suspect I May Be a Victim of Identity Theft?

If you suspect that you are a victim of identity theft, you can take steps to protect your credit by placing a fraud alert on your credit report.

Placing a fraud alert on your credit report lets any lender who looks at your credit file know that you suspect you are a victim of fraud. If someone tries to open a new credit account, or make adjustments to an existing credit account, the lender should verify that you are the person requesting the change.

When you request a fraud alert through Equifax your request is automatically sent to TransUnion and Experian as well. Initial fraud alerts are free; they last 90 days and can be requested online. For details, visit Equifax.

Fraud alerts can be extended to an additional 7 years if necessary.

Other Identity Theft Resources