dcsimg

Fighting Identity Theft

What is identity theft? Is it different from identity fraud?

Identity theft is a growing problem, and with the increasing exchange of money over the internet conciously protecting your identity is becoming more important than ever. Identity theft is when a person steals another living persons information in order to take over their accounts or create new accounts in their name. A person committing identity theft is committing fraud, but committing identity fraud isn't quite the same. Committing identity fraud doesn't require a person to steal the identity of another living being. Identity fraud can be as simple as falsifying information on an ID (such as making yourself appear older in order to purchase alcohol.)

  • Identity Theft and Fraud: Description of identity theft and fraud, including information on how to protect yourself and what someone can do when they are a victim.
  • Identity Theft on Wikipedia: An explanation of the different types of identity theft: financial, cloning, criminal, synthetic, and medical.

What should I do if I think I'm a victim of identity theft?

There are several steps you should take if your identity has been stolen.

  1. Call the three major credit reporting agencies and request a fraud alert while continuing to monitor your credit.
  2. Close all accounts that were tampered with or opened illegally.
  3. File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission as soon as possible.
  4. File a police report.

No one is safe. Identity theft can happen to anyone including the police, college students, even those with knowledge of identity theft, such as people studying in paralegal schools.

How can identity thieves steal my identity and money?

It is easier to steal someone's identity and money than people realize. Thieves are willing to go as far as dumpster diving in housing areas or businesses looking for personal information to use to steal a person's identity. They are looking for checks and bank statements to take control of the victim's accounts. Through the use of the internet and sending fake emails people are in even greater danger than before. Once the thief has your information they can gain access to money in your bank account, or create new accounts in your name.

  • Fighting Back Against Identity Theft: An in-depth look at how thieves steal identities, and what they do with them after they are stolen.
  • The Newest Identity Theives: Some parents have been caught using the social security numbers of their children to open new accounts.
  • Identity Theft: Learn how to protect yourself as a consumer. Includes information on what is being done about this worldwide problem.
  • Fraud Trends: Showcases different trends in identity theft and documents fraud complaints.
  • Learn How To Protect Yourself: Articles and links on how people can protect themselves against identity thieves.

Are there types of identity theft? What are they?

There are five types of identity theft today. According to the Identity Theft Resource center they are: criminal identity theft, financial identity theft, usiness/commercial identity theft, identity cloning, and medical identity theft. All of the types are extremely series, including medical identity theft which can cause a person to be listed as HIV positive because the thief did not want to use their own name on the test. Prescriptions being filled by a person using a stolen identity are also a concern.

  • Coping With Identity Theft: A helpful guide to help you reduce the risk of becoming a victim of identity theft.
  • Types of Identity theft: Outlines some of the ways a theif can steal your identity and offers advice on how to keep it from happening to you.

What are some tips I can use to help avoid becoming a victim?

Your personal information is a huge asset and should be protected. Some tips for identity protection are:

  • Review credit reports at least once a year
  • Personally go to the bank and pick up ordered checks
  • Notify all credit institutes of address changes immediately
  • Never give out any personal information over the phone
  • Do not carry social security or pin numbers in your wallet

Following these tips will help keep you from becoming the next victim.

Where can I find more information on Identity theft and Identity fraud?

Numerous government agencies are cracking down on identity theft and fraud.