Helpful Security Information
 
 
Helpful Security Information and Numbers

Ever wonder what personal information is floating around out there about you? Here are a few ways to find out.

To get your medical file:
The Medical Information Bureau
Essex Station, Box 105
Boston, MA 02112
617-426-3660

The bureau has information on 15 million Americans and Canadians. The cost is $8.

Consider making Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to see the information held by government agencies. The first two hours of search fees are waived, as are copying charges for the first 100 pages.

Write to:
Federal Bureau of Investigation
FOIPA Section 935 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20535
202-324-5520

Internal Revenue Service, Chief
FOIA / Privacy Section
Washington, DC 20044
800-829-1040

IMPORTANT NUMBERS IDENTITY THEFT

Identity theft is on the rise - more than 700,000 cases were reported last year. Be vigilant. Remove yourself from mail and call lists and then concentrate on running your business.

Each time someone gets your Social Security Number, you increase your chance for credit fraud and identity theft. Don't give it out frivolously. Another step you can take is to contact the credit reporting agencies for a copy of your credit report. Do this once a year.

CREDIT AGENCIES:

Equifax - 800-525-6285, $8.00 for a copy
Experian - 800-831-5614, $8.00 for a copy
Transunion - 800-680-7289, $8.00 for a copy
Dun & Bradstreet - 800-234-3867
Consumer Information Bureau - 800-397-3742

Stop these agencies from selling your name to others. Call 888-5-OPTOUT.

Join Credit Watch from Equifax for $40.00 per year and get 6 full credit reports annually so you can keep an eye on inquiries and FICO score.

Direct Marketing Association (DMA) - 800-567-8688

Removal from mailing lists:
DMA Mail Preference Service
PO Box 9008
Farmingdale, NY 11735

Removal from phone lists:
DMA Telephone Preference Service
PO Box 9014
Farmingdale, NY 11735

Federal Trade Commission (FTC):
Identity theft hotline - 877-438-4338
Suspicious spam - use@ftc.gov
Identity theft clearing house - www consumer.gov/idtheft

TIPS ON AVOIDING SCAMS AND ID THEFT

NEVER give out your SSN except on a 'need to know basis.' Also, guard your date of birth.

Check your credit report once a year and clear up any errors.

Delete or destroy old credit cards - have no more than three.

Always sign credit cards.
Get your name off marketing lists and remove yourself from pre-approved lists.
Call 888-567-8688 to achieve this.
Never let your credit card out of your sight.

Secure records in your car (insurance and registration) prior to using valet or giving your vehicle to a mechanic.

Have a secured mail system for home and business - Post Office Box, Mail Boxes, Etc.

Shred your mail after reviewing it.

Never throw away unopened junk mail.

Never answer telephone polls or related type calls.

Always hang up on solicitors - but first be sure to ask them to remove you from ALL their call lists.

Get a Caller ID blocker and a Caller ID switch.

Get an unlisted number.

Copyright 2004 Francis Financial: All Rights Reserved