“Shred any documents that has any information with your credit card or social security number information on it. Identity thieves count on you just throwing it away and not worrying about anyone searching for the information,” said Langford.
For residents who do happen to find accounts created with their identy, Langford recommends immediately contacting the credit card or bank to which the account has been charged.
“The sooner they find out about the illegal financial transactions the sooner they can place a hold on your account to prevent further purchases from being placed,” he said.
After the financial institution or credit card company has been notified about the fraudulent account the next step, according to Langford, is to contact the business where the account was created and to file a report with the local law enforcement agency.
“Whether it's Verizon or some other company, they need to know that you were not the person who created the account. This way if the person attempts to add additional charges using your identity, a representative can notify you. You can then take this information to the police which makes it easier for us to track the person down.”
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