Several southern states are still cleaning up following a severe storm on Christmas Day that spawned 34 tornadoes, at least six deaths and widespread power outages.
While the American Red Cross offers helpful tips on how to prepare for different emergencies, it's also important to safeguard yourself from identity thieves, who often strike when people are most vulnerable.
Here's a quick identity protection checklist:
- 1. Protect important information and documents. Whether you’re in a shelter, staying with friends or crashing on your family’s couch, never let these items leave your sight. They are the key to your identity—and you will need this information to prove who you are.
- 2. Check your credit report. Call 1-877-322-8228 or go to this website. Consider adding an initial security alert to your credit report online with Experian or by calling 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742).
- 3. Hold your mail. File a hold mail request with the U.S. Postal Service to keep thieves from finding sensitive materials that may be left in your mailbox.
- 4. Find out whether you're covered by identity management services. Call your bank, credit union, insurer or financial planner to see if they offer these services. Some financial institutions offer them for free, as a perk for being a member or account holder.
IDentity Theft 911 fraud specialists have years of experience helping to protect financial, credit and identity data, while maintaining uninterrupted access to financial accounts. Our experts can help quickly replace important documents. If you become a victim of identity theft, we can help by providing one-on-one guidance through the resolution process and minimizing the damage, stress and lost time you suffer.