Protecting your identity; fraud and theft assistance

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In the wake of a recent cybersecurity intrusion into the Office of Personnel Management data systems, potentially 4 million federal employees may have been impacted, including more than 8,000 civilian Coast Guard employees.

Beginning June 8, 2015, those affected will be notified by email or official letter via the U.S. Postal Service. All notifications will occur prior to June 19, 2015.

OPM is offering CSID Protector Plus coverage to affected current or former federal employees to include a complimentary subscription to CSID Protector Plus for 18 months. Every affected individual, regardless of whether or not they take action to enroll, will have $1 million of identity theft insurance and access to full-service identity restoration provided by CSID.

In the interim, the Coast Guard recommends the following tips to protect your identity from fraud and theft:

• Obtain credit reports from the three national credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and Trans Union) on an annual basis so that you can correct any errors or mistakes such as fraudulent change of address, delinquencies, bankruptcies or new loans.
• Do not carry your Social Security number card in the same place you carry your driver’s license and never throw receipts away without tearing them or shredding them first.
• Use alternate numbers, rather than your SSN, if possible, on your driver’s license and health care cards.
• Guard your personal information by being cautious – don’t send your credit card number over the Internet unless dealing with a reputable and secure site.

More information to protect yourself from identity theft can be found on the Department of Homeland Security’s cyber awareness page.

If you are the victim of identity theft, it is recommended that you file a police report. Contact your creditors via telephone and in writing to inform them of the situation. Keep accurate records of your transactions and purchases in order to reverse the damage; you will have to provide proof. Lastly, contact your Coast Guard Legal Assistance Office for help with identity theft.

If you have any questions or need assistance with identity theft, feel free to leave a comment below. We will do our best to get you the assistance you need.

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