Following are a number of common questions relating to identity theft and what you should do if you suspect you are a victim:
What is identity theft?
Identity theft is a crime where someone steals key pieces of your personal information - your name, driver's license number, Social Security Number, or an account number - for fraudulent use. Often, identity thieves can drain assets from your existing accounts, open new accounts in your name, apply for credit, and charge purchases to you.
How do thieves get my information?
Typically, identity thieves steal information from outdoor mailboxes, garbage cans or dumpsters. Many people have also been victims of identity theft through telemarketing scams and computer hacking. In some cases, thieves pay retail clerks and other people with access to your personal information to copy it and pass it along.
What is the impact of identity theft?
Once it occurs, identity theft can impact your ability to make big purchases, like buying a car or house, getting a passport or new driver's license, and collecting benefits that are due to you
How can I protect myself against identity theft?
The easiest way to protect yourself from identity theft is by protecting your personal information. We suggest that you always do the following:
Should I check my credit report regularly?
Checking your credit report regularly is one of the smartest ways to spot fraud, excessive inquiries and any negative reports. Contact the credit bureaus -- Experian, Equifax or TransUnion Credit -- for more information.
The government recently enacted legislation enabling consumers to receive a free credit file disclosure, commonly called a credit report, once every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
To receive your report, go to AnnualCreditReport.com. AnnualCreditReport.com is the official site to help consumers to obtain their free credit report.
What can I do if I am a victim of identity theft?
If you think you are a victim of identity theft, follow these two important steps:
How can I protect my credit if my identity has been stolen?
If you think your identity has been stolen, do the following:
What if I discover unauthorized accounts have been opened in my name?
If you receive any type of notification of unauthorized accounts opened in your name, do the following:
What if I think my mail is being stolen?
It is a federal offense to steal mail from a mailbox. If you think your mail is being removed from your mailbox without your authorization, do the following:
What if I discover that checks have been stolen from my checkbook or mailbox?
If you notice checks are missing from your checkbook, or if an order of checks doesn't arrive, do the following:
Will PNC Bank ever share my personal information with anyone else?
PNC Bank will not provide anyone out side of the PNC family of companies or agencies doing business with PNC with your personal account or contact information. We also will not sell your personal information to firms that claim they want to do business with you.
If you have any questions or concerns about identity theft, call PNC Bank at 1-888-PNC-BANK.