Identity Theft Definition
- Identity Theft is a serious crime. When someone uses your personal identifying information without your permission for their own personal gain, it’s a CRIME!
- An attempt to gain access to existing accounts, open new accounts, and misuse personal information to commit fraudulent activity.
Protect Your Identity
- Unless addressed as a fraud or a scam, criminals that steal your identity will reap the benefits of your buying power.
- Criminals can change your address on your credit card and banking information for the convenience of delivery of goods and services.
- They will get your bills and not pay them. This will cause damage to your credit worthiness
- Confidential information such as passwords and CNet IDs should never be shared with others or written down and available to others to have access to.
- For more information on safe computing, please visit:
- Safe Computing
Personal Identifying Information
- Credit cards
- Social Security Numbers (SSN)
- Tax ID Numbers (TIN)
- Medical Information
- Payroll Information
- Checking account information
Your Payment Information
- Open Accounts in your name (I.E. Bank and Credit Card Accounts)
- File taxes using your SSN and TIN to obtain illegal refunds.
- Make purchases (mostly online shopping).
- Shred documents with personal identifying information.
- Be very careful with phishing emails requesting personal information.
- Be sure that your medical documents are not laying out in the open.
- Keep wallets, purses, and digital devices secure and safe.
Recovering From Identity Theft
1. Replace missing documents.
- Driver’s license
- Social Security Card
- Lost or stolen credit/debit/credit cards
2. Complete an Identity Theft Report.
www.ftc.gov/complaint or by phone at 1-877-438-4338
3. Create an initial fraud alert and order credit reports.
- It’s free
- Contact one of the three credit bureaus at Annual Credit Report
4. Request an extended fraud alert.
- Allows 12 months to closely monitor credit
5. Consider a credit freeze.
- Prevents anyone other than you from accessing your credit report.
6. If you suspect medical identity theft, contact your doctor to request medical records.
7. If your SSN was used to file taxes, contact the IRS and work with a tax fraud specialist.
8. Review financial accounts and dispute fraudulent activity
- Reset all passwords and PINs for your accounts
- Track down the dispute resolution address for businesses
- Complete an Identity Theft Report
9. Monitor and continue to protect your identity for the future
- Keep up with shredding documents with personal identifying information.
- Protect your computer with antivirus and firewall software.
- According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics report, Victims of Identity Theft 2014, it states, “In 2014, an estimated 6 in 7 U.S. residents (85%) took actions to prevent identity theft; such as checking credit reports, shredding documents with personal information, and changing passwords on financial accounts.” Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
- The Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Sentinel Network Report stated that identity theft accounted for 13.87% of all consumer complaints in 2017.