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Protect Yourself From Identity Theft

Identify Theft

For more than a decade, identity theft has topped the list of consumer complaints with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). In 2012, a record 2 million complaints were filed with the FTC and 18 percent, or 369,132, of them were related to identity theft.* With this in mind, it’s wise to know what to do if you discover your personal information has been compromised, even if you’re not completely sure it was misused.

The following list is an abbreviated version of a more detailed action list from the ADA that attempts to provide dentists with the information they need to respond to the unauthorized disclosure or theft of their personal information. This list has not been approved by the FTC, Internal Revenue Service or Social Security Administration and should not be treated as legal advice. If you find yourself in an identity theft situation, consult your legal professional for advice that is specific to your needs.

If your Social Security number is compromised:

  • Keep records
  • Immediately place initial fraud alerts
  • Request name of the investigating law enforcement officer and obtain police report
  • Notify IRS of compromised Social Security number
  • File a complaint with the FTC
  • Consider placing a security freeze (or “credit freeze”)
  • After about one month, obtain an initial free credit report
  • Periodically review your credit report
  • Watch for signs of misuse

If your Social Security number is misused:

  • Respond to signs of misuse
  • Close any compromised accounts
  • File a complaint with the FTC
  • File a report with local police
  • Consider placing an extended fraud alert on your credit report
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