Identity Theft is the fastest growing crime in America. Identity theft occurs when someone uses another personís indentifying information, such as name, social security number, or date of birth to commit an unlawful activity. Thieves can obtain personal information from many sources, such as lost or stolen credit cards, social security card, checkbook, or health insurance card.
They might dig through your trash, shoulder surf when you enter a PIN at the ATM or use a credit card, intercept your mail, try phishing (send you an official looking email asking for personal information), or vishing (leave you an official sounding voicemail asking you to call in with personal information), spyware or skimming techniques.
Protect your identity by being observant and using common sense:
- Donít carry your social security card with you.
- Donít give your PIN to anyone.
- Watch for shoulder surfers.
- Keep documents and statements in a safe place.
- Use a cross-cut shredder to destroy sensitive documents.
- Monitor account activity closely.
- Order your credit report.
- Use secure websites for credit card transactions.
- Don't bring your purse or wallet to a party.
If an identity thief strikes, contact:
Fraud departments at credit reporting agencies:
Learn more about Identity Theft