Identity Theft

Identity Theft is a major issue and it takes everyone working together to protect your information. We’re here to help.

Warning Signs of Identity Theft

What Do Thieves Do with Your Information?

Once identity thieves have your personal information, they can drain your bank account, run up charges on your credit cards, open new utility accounts, or get medical treatment on your health insurance. An identity thief can file a tax refund in your name and get your refund. In some extreme cases, a thief might even give your name to the police during an arrest.

Clues That Someone Has Stolen Your Information

  • You see withdrawals from your bank account that you can’t explain.
  • You don’t get your bills or other mail.
  • Merchants refuse your checks.
  • Debt collectors call you about debts that aren’t yours.
  • You find unfamiliar accounts or charges on your credit report.
  • Medical providers bill you for services you didn’t use.
  • Your health plan rejects your legitimate medical claim because the records show you’ve reached your benefits limit.
  • Your health plan won’t cover you because your medical records show a condition you don’t have.
  • The IRS notifies you that more than one tax return was filed in your name, or that you have income come from an employer you don’t work for.
  • You get notice that your information was compromised by a data breach at a company where you do business or have an account.

If your wallet, Social Security number, or other personal information is lost or stolen, there are steps you can take to help protect yourself from identity theft.

What information was lost or exposed?

Social Security Number

If a company responsible for exposing your information offers you free credit monitoring, take advantage of it.

Get your free credit reports. Check for any accounts or charges you don’t recognize.

Consider placing a freeze. A credit freeze makes it harder for someone to open a new account in your name.

If you place a freeze, be ready to take a few extra steps the next time you apply for a new credit card or cell phone – or any service that requires a credit check.

Try to file your taxes early — before a scammer can. Tax identity theft happens when someone uses your Social Security number to get a tax refund or a job. Respond right away to letters from the IRS.

Don’t believe anyone who calls and says you’ll be arrested unless you pay for taxes or debt — even if they have part or all of your Social Security number, or they say they’re from the IRS.

Continue to check your credit report. You can order a free report from each of the three credit reporting companies once a year.

Online login or password

Log in to that account and change your password. If possible, also change your username.

If you can’t log in, contact the company. Ask them how you can recover or shut down the account.

If you use the same password anywhere else, change that, too.

Is it a financial site, or is your credit card number stored? Check your account for any charges that you don’t recognize.

Debit or credit card number

Contact your bank or credit card company to cancel your card and request a new one.

Review your transactions regularly. Make sure no one misused your card.

If you have automatic payments set up, update them with your new card number.

Check your credit report, see information below.

Bank account information

Contact your bank to close the account and open a new one.

Review your transactions regularly to make sure no one misused your account.

If you have automatic payments set up, update them with your new bank account information.

Check your credit report, see link below.

Driver's license information

Contact your nearest motor vehicles branch to report a lost or stolen driver’s license.

The state might flag your license number in case someone else tries to use it, or they might suggest that you apply for a duplicate.

Check your credit report, see link below.

Children's personal information

Request a credit freeze for your child. (not offered in all states)

A credit freeze will make it difficult for someone to use your child’s information to open accounts.

To place a freeze, follow the specific instructions for each credit bureau:

  • Equifax
  • Transunion
  • Experian

No matter what state you live in, you can check to see if your child has a credit report.

Each bureau has specific instructions for these requests:

  • Equifax
  • Experian
  • TransUnion

If a credit bureau has a credit report for your child, the credit bureau will send you a copy of the report. Use the instructions provided with the credit report to remove fraudulent accounts.

Review the Federal Trade Commission’s information on Child Identity Theft.

Free credit report

Cybersecurity Tips


    If it seems too good to be true, it is probably fraud. Don’t believe that lottery awards staff or princes from a foreign country will contact you by email!
    Be on guard against fraudulent checks, cashier’s checks, money orders or electronic fund transfers sent with a request for you to wire back part of the money.
    Be wary of unsolicited offers that require you to “ACT FAST.”
    Make sure your device is up-to-date with the latest security updates for your operating system — Windows, Apple IOS, mobile phone IOS (Apple, Android, etc).
    Do not trust websites with certificate warnings or errors.
    It’s never a good idea to click on an email attachment or free software from unknown sources. You could end up exposing your system to online fraud and theft.
    Watch how much you share online. The more you post about yourself on social networking sites, the easier it may be for someone to use that information to access your accounts, steal your identity and more. Protect your personal information by maximizing your privacy settings.
    Be aware of disaster-related financial scams. Con artists take advantage of people after catastrophic events by claiming to be from legitimate charitable organizations when, in fact, they are attempting to steal money or valuable personal information. 

Additional resources about identity theft and being safe online:
Federal Trade Commission
Texas Department of Banking
Texas Bankers Association

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