Test your knowledge about identity theft by answering True or False to the questions below.
T [white square] F [white square] 1. One of the best ways to protect your identity is by using online passwords only you're likely to know-your mother's maiden name or the last four digits of your Social Security number.
T [white square] F [white square] 2. The names of the three nationwide consumer reporting companies are Equinox, ExperiCorps, and TransAmerica.
T [white square] F [white square] 3. If you've been notified that someone might have stolen information about your financial accounts, you should wait several weeks to see if anything happens before you take any action.
T [white square] F [white square] 4. If you stop getting bills in the mail, you might be a victim of identify theft.
T [white square] F [white square] 5. If the stolen information includes your Social Security number, you can place an "Initial fraud alert" by calling one of the three nationwide consumer reporting companies.
T [white square] F [white square] 6. The best way to get a free copy of your credit report is to file a Freedom of Information Act Request.
1. False. Crooks can find this type of information about you. Using random numbers and letters you've committed to memory is safer.
2. False. The names are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. If you'd like a free annual credit report, visit http://www.annualcreditreport.com.
3. False. Your best first step is to contact your credit card companies and close your accounts. Also, talk with your bank about whether to close other accounts or take other steps. And check out http://www.consumer.gov/idtheft.
4. True. If bills stop coming, it may be a sign that someone has hijacked your identity and has changed the address where your bills are being sent. Of course, that doesn't mean they're paying the bills!! Contact the credit card companies and close your accounts.
5. True. Placing such an alert can help stop someone from opening new credit accounts in your name.
6. False. The Fair Credit Reporting Act lets you get one free credit report from each of the three nationwide credit reporting companies every 12 months.