Protecting Against Identity Theft.
You should remain vigilant against identity theft and fraud, review relevant accounts, medical claims, and health care statements, including explanations of benefits, over the next 12 to 24 months, and monitor credit reports for suspicious activity. We suggest requesting a copy of explanation of benefits statements from your health care provider and contacting them or your health plan if you see anything suspicious. Immediately report suspicious activity on your credit reports or other statements to your bank, credit union, local police, sheriff, and state Attorney General and file a report of identity theft. Get a copy of the police report to give to creditors to clear up records and access free services for identity theft victims. Under U.S. law, adults can receive one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus; visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call, toll-free, 1-877-322-8228, or contact the three credit bureaus directly. If calling as the personal representative of your loved one, explain your situation and request specific guidance.
You can have credit bureaus place a free "fraud alert" on your file so creditors will take additional steps to verify your identity prior to granting credit in your name. This may delay obtaining credit while the agency verifies your identity. As soon as one credit bureau confirms your fraud alert, the others are notified to place fraud alerts on your file. To place a fraud alert or ask questions regarding your credit report, contact one of these agencies:
If you are the personal representative of your loved one's estate, you may request, in writing, that the credit report associated with your loved one include this alert: "Deceased. Do not issue credit. If an application is made for credit, please notify the following individual(s) immediately [list yourself, an authorized relative, and/or the executor/trustee of the estate-noting the relationship of any individual-and/or a law enforcement agency]."
In most instances, this will prevent the opening of new credit accounts in your loved one's name.
You may place a security freeze on your, or your minor dependent's, credit reports, which prohibits a credit bureau from releasing credit report information without your written authorization. This may delay, interfere with, or prevent the timely approval of your requests for new loans, credit mortgages, employment, housing, or other services. If you are an identity theft victim and give the credit bureau a valid police report, placing, listing, or removing a security freeze is free. In all other cases, a credit bureau may charge a fee to place, temporarily lift, or permanently remove a security freeze. To place a security freeze, send a written request to each of these consumer reporting agencies: Equifax; Experian; and TransUnion by regular, certified or overnight mail:
Equifax Security Freeze
P.O. Box 105788
Atlanta, GA 30348
Experian Security Freeze
P.O. Box 9554
Allen, TX 75013
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19022-2000
To request a freeze, provide your full name (including middle initial, Jr., Sr., II, III, etc.), date of birth, Social Security number, addresses for five prior years, email address, a copy of your state identification card or driver's license, and utility bill, bank or insurance statement, or other statement to prove your current address. If you are an identity theft victim, include a copy of the police report, investigative report, or complaint to a law enforcement agency concerning identity theft. If you are not a theft victim, include payment by check, money order, or credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover only). Do not send cash through the mail. Fees vary based on where you live, but commonly range from $5 to $20.
The credit reporting agencies have 3 business days after receiving your request to freeze your credit report. They must send written confirmation to you within 5 business days and provide a unique personal identification number (PIN) or password, or both, so you can authorize the removal or lifting of the security freeze.
To lift the freeze so an entity or individual can access your credit report, you must call or write the credit reporting agencies and include proper identification (name, address, and Social Security number), your PIN number and password, and the identities of entities or individuals to receive your credit report or the specific time period you want the report available. The credit reporting agencies have 3 business days after receiving your request to lift the security freeze for identified entities or individuals or the specified time period. To remove the freeze, you must write each of the three credit bureaus and include proper identification (name, address, and Social Security number) and your PIN number or password. The credit bureaus have 3 business days after receiving your request to remove the security freeze.
You can educate yourself regarding identity theft, fraud alerts, security freezes, and steps to protect yourself by contacting your state Attorney General, the consumer reporting agencies (as noted above), or the Federal Trade Commission (600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20580, www.identitytheft.gov, 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338); TTY: 1-866-653-4261). Maryland residents may obtain information about preventing and avoiding identity theft from the Maryland Office of the Attorney General, Consumer Protection Division, 200 St. Paul Place, Baltimore, MD 21202, 1-888-743-0023, www.oag.state.md.us. The Federal Trade Commission encourages those whose information has been misused to file a complaint with them. Known or suspected identity theft should be reported to law enforcement or your state Attorney General. This notice was not delayed by law enforcement.
Individuals with questions regarding this incident, their personal information, and the offered credit monitoring and identity restoration services may call Med-Cert's dedicated toll-free telephone number (855) 904-5738, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST (closed on U.S. observed holidays).