Identity Protection and Fraud

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To protect your identity:

  • Check your credit reports often. You canget a free credit report every 12 months from each of the three credit-reportingcompanies. Go to annualcreditreport.comor call 1-877-322-8228.
  • Shred all documents which contain account or personal identification information.
  • Never respond to emails, texts or phone calls that ask for personal information.
  • Create secure passwords for accounts. Try not to use the same password for multiple accounts and never share passwords with anyone.
  • Use secure websites that use encryption to protect financial information. Look for “https” at the beginning of the websiteaddress.
  • Use and update anti-virus and antispywaresoftware on your computer.
  • Set your computer’s operating system, browser and security software to update automatically.

If your identity is stolen:

  • Call one of the credit reporting agencies and have a fraud alert placed on your credit report. This alert is active for 90 days.
  • Get copies of all three credit reportsbecause they can differ. Examine each report for accuracy, and report any mistakes to the reporting agency.
  • Contact Clearwater Police Department at 727-562-4242

Don't fall victim to credit card fraud:

  • Don’t lend your card to anyone.
  • Don’t give your account number toanyone on the phone unless you initiatedthe contact with a reputable company.
  • Don’t keep your PIN with your card.
  • Never sign a blank receipt. Draw a linethrough any blank spaces above the total.• Save your receipts to compare with yourstatements.
  • Shred statements or credit card offersbefore throwing them away.
  • Open your bills promptly, or check themonline using a secure website.
  • Notify your card issuer if your address orphone number changes.
  • If you make purchases online, look for“https” at the beginning of the websiteaddress. That means the website is using asecure protocol.
  • If your credit card is stolen, call the issuerand report it as soon as possible. Ask fordetails of when and where it was used andprovide this information to police.

Common Scams:

  • "You're a winner!"- You recieve notification that you have won a large monetary prize from a lottery you have never played or from someone you don't know.
  • "Nigerian Scam"- You are requested to assist with fees to transfer money from another country in return for a portion of the total amount.
  • "Work from Home" or "Secret Shopper"- You recieve an offer to make money from home to repackage merchandise you did not buy or to accept payments and forward funds of money you did not earn.
  • "You're in trouble" - You recieve a phone call or letter stating that you have missed jury duty or have an outstanding warrant and are told if you make a payment immediately the problem will go away. 

Important Fraud Related Numbers

• CPD Non-Emergency Line 727-562-4242
• CPD Fraud Hotline 727-562-4424
• Equifax 1-800-525-6285
• Experian 1-888-397-3742
• TransUnion 1-800-680-7289
• Visa 1-800-847-2911
• American Express 1-800-528-4800
• Master Card 1-800-627-8372
• Discover 1-800-347-0213
• Chase 1-800-432-3117
• Capital One 1-800-227-4825
• Citibank 1-800-950-5114
• Bank of America 1-800-732-9194
• BB&T 1-800-476-4228
• US AmeriBank 1-800-285-8585
• Wells Fargo 1-800-642-4720