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Shareowner Services Fraud Prevention Tips

Follow these tips to help protect yourself from fraud.

General Precautions

  • Carry only necessary information with you. Leave items such as your Social Security card at home.
  • Do not provide your Social Security number unless absolutely necessary. If your Social Security number is requested to sign up for a service, confirm that it is actually needed rather than some other identifier.
  • Make photocopies of vital information you carry regularly and store them in a secure place, such as a safety deposit box.
  • Limit paper statements. A paperless environment helps reduce the chance of identity theft. The fewer personal documents sent through the mail, the less chance there is for possible fraud.
  • Shred documents containing personal or financial information before discarding. Most fraud and identity theft incidences happen as a result of mail and garbage theft.
  • Review your credit report. Look over your credit report regularly - at least yearly - for any inaccuracies. You can get a free credit report once a year from each of the three major credit bureaus at For a small fee you can obtain a copy at any time directly from:

    Equifax: 1-800-685-1111 or

    Experian: 1-888-397-3742 or

    TransUnion: 1-800-916-8800 or

  • Limit the credit offers you receive. To reduce the credit offers you receive and the information companies share about you, contact the National Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies at 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688).
  • Remove your name from marketing lists. The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) notifies its members that they must remove your name from the lists they sell. Their members include the agencies and companies that compile mailing and telemarketing lists. Your name and address remain in the DMA's consumer exclusion files for five years.
    Contact the DMA at .
  • Shred documents containing personal or financial information before discarding. Most fraud and identity theft incidences happen as a result of mail and garbage theft.

Email and online security

  • Be wary of suspicious emails. Carefully review any email requesting your account information and password, particularly if the email states that the information is needed to award a prize or verify a statement.
    Avoid opening any questionable emails. If you have opened an email that seems suspicious or is from an unknown source, do not open any attachments or links it may contain, and delete it.
  • Keep your computer and online experience secure. Protecting your passwords, installing anti-virus software, activating a pop-up blocker, and other careful computing practices can help keep your computer and personal information secure.

Credit card and bank account security

  • Report lost or stolen cards and checks immediately.
  • Review account statements carefully. By regularly checking your balances and other account activity, especially online, you can more quickly detect and stop fraudulent activity.
  • Never use your Social Security number as your username to sign on to your online accounts. With EQ you can select your own, personal username to sign on, instead of your Social Security number. To create a new username, sign on to your accounts online and go to Account Services.
  • Cancel and cut up unused credit and other cards. If you have an open account that you no longer use, call the creditor to cancel it and cut up the card before throwing it out. Follow the same procedure for unused or expired cards of all types.
  • Keep your ATM password secure. Do not use obvious or easily obtainable information (such as your birth date) for your password. Never share your password and avoid writing it down.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and exercise caution when using an ATM. Using common sense will make your transactions safer.
  • Limit personal information on checks. Do not have excess personal information, such as your driver's license number or Social Security number, printed on your checks.
  • Store new and cancelled checks safely. And only carry your checkbook with you when necessary.

Phone and mail precautions

  • Be aware of telephone scams. Unless you initiated the contact, do not give out personal information over the telephone. If the call is not initiated by you, always ask for a call-back number. Ask for a call back number and case number if you're suspicious of the call.
  • Do not place outgoing mail in your mailbox. Deposit mail in a U.S. Postal Service mail box or at the post office to reduce the chance of mail theft.
  • Promptly retrieve incoming mail. Collect your mail as soon as possible every day to limit the opportunity for theft.
  • Know your billing and statement cycles. Contact the company's customer service department if you stop receiving your regular bill or statement.