identity theft

Identity Theft- can happen to anyone!


Reporting Identity Theft

go to and report the identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission. Or, you can call 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338); TTY 1-866-653-4261. That website is a one-stop national resource to learn about the crime of identity theft. It provides detailed information to help you deter, detect and defend against identity theft.


Tips for Protecting Electronic Transactions

Online transactions are a great way for thieves to get your personal information. Take the following precautions to protect yourself from online thieves:

  • ·         Don’t provide personal information on any Web site unless you are certain that it is a secure site. When shopping online and entering credit card information, always make sure that the Web site begins with https:// and includes a locked padlock icon.
  • ·         When entering personal information online, even on well-known Web sites, watch for signs that you’ve been redirected to a “cloned” replica site where your data can be captured without your knowledge. Such signs include odd error messages, unexpected page design or content, or other strange site behavior.
  • ·         Never open spam and other e-mail from unknown sources — it may contain viruses or other programs that make your computer vulnerable to intrusion.
  • ·         If you receive an email from a financial institution — even your own bank — never provide personal or account data. It’s always best to contact your bank directly and provide information in person or over the phone.
  • ·         Install and activate a firewall on your home computer to keep hackers out — especially if you connect to the Internet by DSL or cable modem. Install virus protection and other security software, and keep it updated.
  • ·         Before disposing of a computer or hard drive, remove personal information data using a strong “wipe” utility program. Do not rely on the “delete” function to remove files containing sensitive information.
  • ·         Always store personal files and data securely in your home.

Identity Theft and your Social Security #- from the SS Administration:

Opt-Out Options

One way to protect yourself from identity theft is to opt out of mailings, e-mails and telephone offers. Call 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688) to opt-out of receiving pre-screened credit card offers. All three major credit bureaus use this same toll free number.

Remove your name from many national direct email lists through the Direct Marketing Association website or write to:

Direct Marketing Association Mail Preference Service
P.O. Box 9008
Farmingdale, NY11735-9008

Opt-out of national telephone marketers through the Direct Marketing Association (telephone preference) website or write to:

Direct Marketing Association Telephone Preference Service
P.O. Box 9014
Farmingdale, NY11735-9014


Order your Free Credit Report

Consumers can obtain free copies of their credit reports annually, one from each of the three credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax and Trans Union. You can contact the credit bureaus directly for a copy of your report:

To order a free copy of your credit report from the three credit bureaus, visit

Monthly Memo- February: National Pistachio Day, Home Based Business and more

pistachios Stop by either office on Wednesday February 26 for some pistachios, in honor of NATIONAL PISTACHIO DAY!



A home based business (Pampered Chef, Gold Canyon Candles, Mary Kay, Tastefully Simple, a beauty salon in a spare room, work from home typing, to name just a few) creates exposure from clients/customers entering your premise, your business operation and even the products that you carry/store to conduct your business. If you have one of these types of business, please contact us to review your specific needs. Most standard homeowner policies do not extend adequate coverage for a home based business located in a person’s home whether it be liability or business personal property. The simplest way to address a home business’ liability exposure is through an Incidental Business Endorsement. The IBE covers 50 different types of business’, mostly small offices and service providers for an additional annual premium depending on the type of business. Commercial policies are available for more sophisticated home business’ with expensive equipment, higher liability exposure or employees. 



Per Indiana Codes, 9-25-6-14 and 9-25-8-6, the Indiana BMV is now requiring an SR-22 filing be made anytime an insured’s operator’s license has been suspended, regardless of the underlying violation. Drivers who are caught operating a vehicle without insurance will be suspended for a mandatory 90 days, be required to pay a reinstatement f…ee and be required to maintain a sr22 policy for three years at the end of the 90 day suspension. Preferred insurance companies typically do not allow SR22 policies so you’d have to be placed with a Standard or Nonstandard (high risk) carrier which have higher rates AND pay the SR22 policy fee. ***$$= OUCH*** Don’t let your coverage lapse!


Snowmobile and ORV registration switches from DNR to BMV

Mandatory registration for owners of snowmobiles and other outdoor recreational vehicles switched on Jan. 1 from being handled by the DNR to being handled by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Registration is valid for three years and must be renewed every three years thereafter, for $30. Registration may be done online or in person at a BMV branch.



People use the term identity theft loosely. True identity theft occurs when a thief uses your personal information, such as your Social Security number, home address, checking account number, etc., to commit fraud and open new accounts. Fraudulent charges on a credit or ATM card may mean that someone has stolen your credit card account number to make purchases that you did not approve, but it may not indicate that your identity was stolen. Identity theft occurs when a thief steals your personal information to:

  • Open new credit card accounts
  • Take out loans for new cars or homes
  • Access bank accounts and withdraw funds
  • Rent homes
  • Obtain medical treatment and charge it in your name
  • Use your good name as an alias when committing a crime

These activities can result in a significant financial and emotional cost.

The FTC has many resources for Immediate Steps to Repair Identity Theft, Fraud Alerts and Credit Freezes, Repairing Credit After Identity Theft, How To Keep Your Personal Information Secure and more!

Personal Safety & Security

Keeping your important papers secure – shredding documents with sensitive information before you put them in the trash, and limiting the personal information you carry with you are among the ways you can protect your identity. Find additional tips to reduce your risk of identity theft, including how and when to order your free credit report.

Unwanted commercial email – also known as “spam” – can be annoying. Worse, it can include bogus offers that could cost you time and money. Take steps to limit the amount of spam you get, and treat spam offers the same way you would treat an uninvited telemarketing sales call.