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Avoiding Identity Theft

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1) Introduction

The Retail Equation is providing this page as a public service so you can learn how to protect yourself from identity theft as well as know what to do to if your personal information becomes exposed or if you actually become a victim of identity theft.

2) What is identity theft?

Identity theft occurs when someone uses another person's personal information such as name, Social Security number, driver's license number, credit card number or other identifying information to take on that person's identity in order to commit fraud or other crimes.

3) Identity theft statistics

Javelin Strategy & Research annual report on Identity Fraud and Theft.

4) How do The Retail Equation's products help combat identity theft?

Data collected by The Retail Equation is stored within a state-of-the art, secure data center. The Retail Equation’s products provide far greater security than practices that are common in some retail stores, such as collecting consumer information verbally or on hardcopy return slips or saving consumer information on paper logs, which could possibly be obtained for purposes of committing identity theft.

5) Has The Retail Equation ever had a data breach?

The Retail Equation has never had a data breach.

6) How to protect yourself from identity theft

The following links can help lower your risk of becoming a victim of identity theft.

7) Steps to take if your data becomes compromised or stolen

Credit Reporting Agencies
If you have reason to believe your personal information has been compromised or stolen, contact the Fraud Department of one of the three major credit bureaus listed below.  To order a free annual credit report from any or all agencies, contact www.annualcreditreport.com or call toll free at 877‐322‐8228.

Equifax
Direct Line for reporting suspected fraud:
888‐766‐0008
Equifax Consumer Fraud Division
P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374
http://www.equifax.com

Experian
Direct Line for reporting suspected fraud: 
888-397-3742
Experian Consumer Assistance
P.O. Box 9532
Allen, TX 75013
http://www.experian.com

Trans Union
Direct Line for reporting suspected fraud: 
800-680-7289
Fraud Victim Assistance Department 
P.O. Box 6790 
Fullerton, CA 92834 
http://www.transunion.com

When contacting the Credit Reporting Agency, you should request the following:

  1. Instruct them to flag your file with a fraud alert including a statement that creditors should get your permission before opening any new accounts in your name.
  2. Ask them for copies of your credit report(s). (Credit bureaus must give you a free copy of your report if it is inaccurate because of suspected fraud.) Review your reports carefully to make sure no additional fraudulent accounts have been opened in your name or unauthorized changes made to your existing accounts. NOTE: In order to ensure that you are issued free credit reports, we strongly encourage you to contact the agencies DIRECT LINE (listed above) for reporting fraud. We do not recommend that you order your credit report online.
  3. Be diligent in following up on your accounts. In the months following an incident, order new copies of your reports to verify your corrections and changes, and to make sure no new fraudulent activity has occurred.
  4. If you find that any accounts have been tampered with or opened fraudulently, close them immediately. To ensure that you do not become responsible for any debts or charges, use the ID Theft Affidavit Form developed by the Federal Trade Commission to help make your case with creditors.

Social Security Administration
SSA Fraud Hotline: 800-269-0271
http://www.ssa.gov/

If you are the victim of a stolen Social Security number, the SSA can provide information on how to report the fraudulent use of your number and how to correct your earnings record. We encourage you to contact the Fraud Hotline immediately once you suspect identity theft.

The website also provides tips on using and securing your Social Security number. Visit the SSA website for advice on keeping your number safe.
Please note that The Retail Equation does not collect social security numbers.

Federal Trade Commission
To report incidents of suspected fraud or identity theft, contact the FTC online at www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft to fill out a complaint form or call 1‐877‐IDTHEFT (1‐877‐438‐4338). Alternately, the FTC can be reached at Identity Theft Clearinghouse, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington,
DC 20580.

Local Law Enforcement
It is important that you report identity theft to your local police department as soon as you become aware that you are a victim. Get a copy of the police report which will assist you when notifying creditors, credit reporting agencies and if necessary, the Social Security Administration (SSA).

8) Resources

The following links provide detailed information related to identity theft and protecting yourself.

Department of Justice
http://www.justice.gov/criminal/fraud/websites/idtheft.html

Social Security Administration
http://ssa-custhelp.ssa.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/329

Identity Theft Resource Center
http://www.idtheftcenter.org/
858-693-7935

 

Point of contact
For more information, please contact us by email at info@theretailequation.com.



FAQ: What is Verify Return Authorization?

TRE’s Verify Return Authorization System is designed to identify the 1 percent of consumers whose behaviors mimic return fraud or abuse —a $9.1 billion to $16.3 billion per year problem in the United States.

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