Protecting Your Identity While Online
Be aware of the following:
- Never give out your information to a person or a company that contacted you first.
- You never can be too cautious when protecting your personal information.
- Know who you are dealing with when shopping or divulging personal information online.
- If something sounds too good to be true it most likely is.
Signs that your identity has been stolen:
- Statements for your financial accounts stop arriving at the normal time without prior notice from your financial institution.
- Bills start coming for things you did not buy, or charges show up on your credit card statement for purchases you did not make.
What do you do if your identity is stolen?
Immediately file a police report and retain a copy. Then contact your creditors, banks, credit bureau, local law enforcement agency and the Federal Trade Commission by phone and in writing. Let them know that you have become the victim of identity theft. Keep a record of all communication you make with these agencies, including everything you send them, each person you talk to, and the date and time of all communication. Request a copy of your credit report and review it carefully for anything suspicious. Close all accounts that have been tampered with or opened without your knowledge or consent.
If your identity has been stolen:
- File a police report with your local law enforcement agency.
- Close any accounts that have been tampered with or opened without your authorization.
- Contact the three major credit reporting bureaus and place a fraud alert on your credit file or place a security freeze on your credit file.
- Review your credit report for accounts you did not open; debts you did not incur on any accounts; inquiries from companies you do not know; and inaccurate information.
- File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.
- New Mexico residents may request an Identity Theft Passport.
Identity Theft Passport
- The Identity Theft Passport database is a statewide system accessed by law enforcement and the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Department (MVD) to identify and document victims of identity theft.
- Once a victim of identity theft files a report with local law enforcement, this report, along with the victim’s personal information, becomes stored in the Identity Theft Passport database that is available to statewide law enforcement agencies.
- The victim’s information will also be accessible by the Motor Vehicle Department.
- Passports can only be received at an office of the State of New Mexico MVD.
- The passport is a New Mexico identity card. “Victim of Identity Theft” will be printed on the back in the endorsement area and should be carried by the victim to help prevent identity confusion if a crime has been committed in the victim’s name.