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Tips to Protect Personal Information

Email Safety

Be careful clicking email links. 

Before opening email, check to make sure that the display name is in fact from the PGCPS employee and not a spoof. Anyone can create a spoof email account for free on the internet utilizing any name they choose, even if it is the same or similar to that of a PGCPS staff member. There is no formal verification process for creating free email accounts; therefore, we have no way of knowing who created the account or when it was created. Before clicking on any links in an email — even from a trusted colleague — remember to hover over the link to see where it will send you. Never click on any links or open attachments from suspicious emails.

Look for the yellow banner. 

If you receive an email with a yellow warning banner that appears suspicious and not from someone you are expecting to hear from, do not respond. Simply delete the message. If the email contains a supervisor or a colleague's name along with the yellow warning banner, do not open the email. Instead, please contact the colleague at their PGCPS email address to check the validity of the email. If the email is in the Spam folder, there is a high probability that the email is not valid.

Do not reply or enter your personal information. 

Never enter your username and password on an external link. Never purchase a gift card from an email you receive and send the card information to someone via email. Never reply to the email scam.

Monitor Your Accounts

Under U.S. law, a consumer is entitled to one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. To order a free credit report, visit or call, toll-free, 1-877-322-8228. Consumers may also directly contact the three major credit reporting bureaus listed below to request a free copy of their credit report.

Consumers have the right to place an initial or extended “fraud alert” on a credit file at no cost. An initial fraud alert is a 1-year alert that is placed on a consumer’s credit file. Upon seeing a fraud alert display on a consumer’s credit file, a business is required to take steps to verify the consumer’s identity before extending new credit. If consumers are the victim of identity theft, they are entitled to an extended fraud alert, which is a fraud alert lasting seven years. Should consumers wish to place a fraud alert, please contact any of the three major credit reporting bureaus listed below.

Credit Freeze

As an alternative to a fraud alert, consumers have the right to place a “credit freeze” on a credit report, which will prohibit a credit bureau from releasing information in the credit report without the consumer’s express authorization. The credit freeze is designed to prevent credit, loans, and services from being approved in a consumer’s name without consent.

However, consumers should be aware that using a credit freeze to take control over who gets access to the personal and financial information in their credit report may delay, interfere with, or prohibit the timely approval of any subsequent request or application they make regarding a new loan, credit, mortgage, or any other account involving the extension of credit. 

Pursuant to federal law, consumers cannot be charged to place or lift a credit freeze on their credit report. Should consumers wish to place a credit freeze or fraud alert, please contact the three major credit reporting bureaus listed below:



Equifax Fraud Alert, P.O. Box 105069

Atlanta, GA 30348-5069

Equifax Credit Freeze, P.O. Box 105788

Atlanta, GA 30348-5788



Experian Fraud Alert, P.O. Box

9554, Allen, TX 75013

Experian Credit Freeze, P.O.

Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013



TransUnion Fraud Alert, P.O. Box

2000, Chester, PA 19016

TransUnion Credit Freeze, P.O.

Box 160, Woodlyn, PA 19094