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Identity Theft Assistance

In 2013, more than 80 million Americans were victims of identity theft. Some law enforcement authorities call identity theft "the fastest growing crime across the country right now." According to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, most victims don't know how the perpetrators got their identity information.

Members of Legal Resources have access to identity theft services ranging from prevention and education to protection and resolution assistance. Legal Resources provides these services AT NO ADDITIONAL COST to our members.

When a member calls the Legal Resources Member Services Department with an Identity Theft issue, a Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist (CITRMS) provides one-on-one counseling and assistance to help resolve the issue and immediate steps to take if the member has become a victim. If the identity theft situation evolves into a legal matter, then it would be covered under the Legal Resources Plan, either as a fully covered service or discounted service, depending on the issue. For a detailed list of coverage, please click here. Please note, however, that Legal Resources does not include credit repair as a fully covered service.

Legal Resources offers identity theft prevention seminars, held by CITRMS credentialed Account Managers, as part of the additional services we offer to ALL employees at an employer group.

These educational seminars cover a broad range of identity theft-related material, including identifying danger signs, safeguarding tactics, how to removing one's name from pre-approved credit card lists, and putting a security freeze on lines of credit. Seminars are scheduled through your HR or Benefits Manager, so ask them for a seminar with Legal Resources today!

Legal Resources believes preventing identity theft through education is the most important thing a person can do to protect oneself.

Here are a few simple steps you can take to protect yourself from identity theft:

1. Order your credit report from all three major credit reporting agencies at least 2 times per year and immediately correct any mistakes in writing. If you see addresses where you have never lived and alias names that you do not recognize, immediately put a fraud alert on your accounts and credit report.

a. Equifax: www.equifax.com or 1-800-685-1111

b. Experian: www.experian.com or 1-888-397-3742

c. TransUnion: www.tuc.com or 1-800-888-4213

All Virginia and Washington, DC, residents can receive a free credit report every twelve months (under state law, consumers in Maryland already have free access to their credit reports). To order, click on www.annualcreditreport.com, call 1-877-322-8228, or complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form and mail it to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281. The form can be printed at www.ftc.gov/credit.

2. Opt out of unsolicited credit and insurance offers by calling 1-888-5-OPTOUT or go to www.optoutprescreen.com. This will significantly cut down on the number of pre-approved credit card offers you receive.

3. Many banks, credit reporting agencies, and credit card companies are now assisting with identity theft protection by monitoring accounts for unusual activity for free or a small fee. Check with your institution for information on how they protect you against identity theft.

And finally, here is a list of online resources for identity theft information:

Some of the information above is excerpted from the available resources on the FTC website. For more information, please go to: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/feature-0015-identity-theft-resources