Identity Theft

Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information such as your name, Social Security number, credit card number or other identifying information, without your permission to commit fraud or other crimes.

Helpful Tips for Preventing Identity Theft

Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information such as your name, Social Security number, credit card number or other identifying information, without your permission to commit fraud or other crimes.
  • Do not provide your Social Security number unless absolutely necessary. If a business asks for your Social Security number, do your best to assess their need for it before sharing. Ask:
    • Why do you need it?
    • How will it be used?
    • If I don't want to give you my Social Security number, is there an alternative we can use?
  • Be cautious of your surroundings when disclosing your Social Security number. Be aware of who is listening when you give personal information over the phone, whether at your desk at work, or in public on a cell phone.
  • Do not use your full or partial Social Security number as a Personal Identification Number (PIN) or as a password.
  • Do not transmit your Social Security number over the internet unless you know that the connection is secure and you know how the recipient will protect it, and even then only when necessary (tax forms, account opening, etc.).
  • Be cautious and ensure you have the correct number before faxing any forms containing your Social Security number.
  • Do not record your Social Security number or driver’s license number on personal checks or other negotiable instruments.

If you check your credit report regularly, you may be able to spot identity theft and limit the damage caused. Credit reports contain information about you, including what accounts you have and how you pay your bills. If an identity thief is opening credit accounts in your name, fraudulent accounts are likely to show up. Look for inquiries from companies you haven't contacted, accounts you didn't open, and debts on your accounts that you can't explain. Check that information, like your Social Security number, address, name or initials, and employers are correct.

The law requires each of the major nationwide consumer reporting agencies to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months.

To order your free annual report from one or all the national consumer reporting companies:

Annual Credit Report Request Service,
P.O. Box 105281,
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.
Do not contact the three nationwide consumer reporting companies individually; they provide free annual credit reports only through:

To buy a copy of your report, contact:




  • Minimize the amount of personal information a criminal can steal. Don’t carry extra credit cards, your Social Security card, birth certificate or passport. Leave your Social Security card and unused credits cards in a safe and secure location.
  • Do not leave financial statements or other documents with your personal information lying around where others can view them. A significant portion of all identity fraud is committed by relatives, friends, employees and other individuals with access to your home or business.
  • If your account statement does not arrive as expected, contact Huntington immediately at 1-800-480-BANK (2265) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A missing statement could mean an identity thief has taken over your account and changed your billing address to cover their tracks.
  • Shred all discarded personal information as many identity thieves have obtained the information they needed by going through the victim’s trash.
    • Charge receipts
    • Copies of credit applications o Insurance forms
    • Physician statements
    • Checks and bank statements
    • ATM receipts o Expired charge cards that you're discarding
    • Credit offers you get in the mail.
  • Promptly retrieve incoming mail and consider taking outgoing mail containing personal information to your local post office or placing it in a U.S. Postal Service mailbox to reduce the chance of mail theft. And if you're going to be traveling, you can put a vacation hold on your mail by calling the U.S. Postal Service at 1-800-275-8777 or going online to Consider paperless options for your bills and financial statements.
  • Keep a list of all your credit cards, loans, account numbers and expiration dates in a safe place so you can notify creditors in case of theft or loss.
  • Never provide personal information to anyone over the phone unless you initiate the call and you know the company is reputable. Scammers may send emails, text messages, or pop-ups that appear to be from a legitimate business and ask you to call a phone number to update your account, receive a "major" credit card, a prize, or other valuable item -- then ask you for personal data, such as your Social Security number, credit card number or expiration date, or mother's maiden name. Because they use Voice over Internet Protocol technology, the area code you call does not reflect the scammers’ actual location.
  • If you receive a call you did not initiate requesting personal information ask them to send you a written request. If they refuse or you are not comfortable with the phone call, tell them you're not interested and hang up. If you wish to contact the company directly, go to your financial statements, debit or credit card, or the company website to get a legitimate contact number.

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