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How to Protect Your Credit

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reports that identity theft is one of the fastest growing white-collar crimes today. One common example is someone using your personal information to take out a new credit card or loan. When the thief doesn't pay the bills, the unpaid account may appear on your credit report.
You help protect your credit and lower your risk of being the victim of account fraud and identity theft by following these tips:
Preventing account fraud
  • Protect your accounts. Never loan your credit card, ATM card, or passwords to anyone who is not authorized on your account. Do not share your account numbers with anyone unless you initiated the contact.
  • Report lost or stolen checks or credit cards immediately. Review new checks to make sure none were stolen in transit. Be aware of the expiration date on your credit card; if you do not receive a reissued card before the expiration date, notify customer service.
  • Store new and cancelled checks securely and always use tamper-resistant checks. Wells Fargo checks include many safety features, such as tamper-resistant packaging and chemically sensitive paper to deter alterations.
  • Question suspicious emails or phone inquiries. Unless you initiated the contact, Wells Fargo will not request your personal information (account number, Social Security number, or mother's maiden name) through email, U.S. mail, or by phone. Please notify us immediately if you receive odd calls or emails claiming to come from Wells Fargo. Be especially wary of those requesting account information to "award a prize" or "verify a statement."
  • Guard your ATM and online banking information. Avoid using obvious or easily obtainable information as your password. Don't share your passwords with anyone or write them down.
  • Curtail the use of paper documents. Your Wells Fargo Banker can discuss the many electronic payment options available, such as Bill Pay and free online account access with Wells Fargo Online®.
Preventing identity theft
  • Don't give out financial information online or on the phone unless you initiated the contact, and know the party you're dealing with.
  • Shred unnecessary financial documents, including old bank statements, invoices, and unwanted pre-approved credit offers.
  • Promptly retrieve incoming mail, and don't put outgoing mail in your residential mailbox.
  • If regular bills or statements stop reaching you, take action. Call the company's customer service number. Someone may have filed a false change-of-address notice to divert your mail.
  • Don't ignore suspicious charges. If doubtful or unauthorized charges appear on your bills or statements, call immediately to resolve the discrepancy.
  • Keep personal numbers off your checks. Never preprint your driver's license or Social Security number on your checks.
Check your credit report
As part of your ongoing vigilance against identity theft, Wells Fargo recommends that you periodically check your credit report. For a small fee, you can obtain a copy of your credit report at any time from one of the three major credit bureaus:
For more information
For additional information about account fraud and identity theft, you can refer to — the U.S. government's central Web site for information about identity theft.

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