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  • If a company responsible for exposing your information offers you free credit monitoring, take advantage of it. However, beware that credit monitoring does not necessarily mean it will monitor to see if someone uses your Social Security number to get a tax refund.
  • Get your free credit reports from Check for any accounts or charges you do not recognize. 
  • Consider placing a credit freeze. A credit freeze makes it harder for someone to open a new account in your name. 
    • If you place a freeze, be ready to take a few extra steps the next time you apply for a new credit card or cell phone, or any service that requires a credit check.
    • If you decide not to place a credit freeze, at least consider placing a fraud alert.
  • Try to file your taxes early--before a scammer can. Tax identity theft happens when someone uses your Social Security number to get a tax refund or a job. Respond right away to letters from the IRS. 
  • Do not believe anyone who calls and says you will be arrested unless you pay for taxes or debts, even if they have part or all of your Social Security number, or they say they are from the IRS. 
  • Continue to check your credit reports at You can order a free report from each of the three credit reporting companies once a year.

If you have any questions, contact the DECS Support Office at or at 517-353-8891

Security category