Identity Theft. Protecting your credit . Identity Theft. Do you : R eceive several offers of pre-approved credit every week? N ot shred them before putting them in the trash? N ot have a PO Box or a locked, secured mailbox?
Identity Theft Do you : Receive several offers of pre-approved credit every week? Not shred them before putting them in the trash? Not have a PO Box or a locked, secured mailbox? Not checked your national credit score with the three national credit providers shown on the next slide for more than two years? If you answered yes to any of these questions then you are putting your identity at risk for theft.
Identity Theft HOW SERIOUS IS THE PROBLEM? – The last federal trade commission survey that was taken in 2002 gave us the statistic that 12.7 % of individuals, or one in eight people surveyed had experienced some form of identity theft. Keep in mind that this figure has increased dramatically over the past 5 years. This was in 2002 when many people had not heard of identity theft, unlike now where we have commercials and insurance agencies trying to make us more aware of the problem. The challenge is, as a society, even though bombarded with information; we are not fully knowledgeable about the depth of the challenges faced when your identity is stolen. (getidsmart.com, 2012)
Identity Theft: Identity theft is not a “victim less crime”. It happens to people every day. Hopefully it will never happen to any of us. But as the last slide pointed out the number and incidents of theft are growing. In the next several slides we will look at the steps you should take after you realize that you are a victim of identity theft.
Identity Theft: What to do first if it happens to you… Report it to the Authorities First: Promptly report the fraud to local law enforcement, the Attorney General’s Office and the FTC. File a consumer complaint with the Attorney General’s ID Theft Unit by phone at 1.800.382.5516, or online at www.IndianaConsumer.com/IDTheft. File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission by contacting the FTC’s ID Theft Hotline by phone at 1.877.ID.THEFT (438.4338), or online at www.consumer.gov/idtheft.
Identity Theft The next step is to go the these credit agencies and tell them that you suspect you are the victim of identify theft. Equifax: 1.800.525.6285 (www.equifax.com) Experian: 1.888.397.3742 (www.experian.com) TransUnion: 1.800.680.7289 (www.transunion.com) Place a fraud alert on the report.
Identity Theft To prevent additional accounts being opened by the thief in your name, Ask that a “security freeze” can be placed on you account. Here is a general summary of the information found in the Indiana Consumer .com agency’s brochure on “security freeze”. According to Indiana Law, you will not be charged a fee to either place or remove a “security freeze” on your account. The amount you are responsible for if theft has taken place will depend upon how soon you file a I.D. Theft Affidavit. To limit the amount that you will be responsible for, the report of illegal activity and the affidavit should be filed within two weeks of the discovery of the illegal use of credit.
Identity Theft: Sites worth knowing about There are a lot of great sites that you should know about as you learn more about identity theft. We will look at each one in the following slides: Privacy Rights Clearing House.org www.privacyrights.org/ Identify Theft Resource Center www.idtheftcenter.org Indiana State Attorney General Consumer Fraud Request your free every twelve month credit reports from: www.annualcreditreport.com
Identity Theft: Privacy Rights Clearing House.org Privacy Rights Clearing House.org www.privacyrights.org What makes this such a good site is the amount and quality of information available for the user. Topics that can be researched include; background checks, banking and finance, harassment and stalking, insurance, junk mail, public records, social security, and telephone privacy. Each of the topics has accompanying fact sheets about the topic.
Identity Theft: Identify Theft Resource Center The Url is: http://www.idtheftcenter.org/ This resource offered a toll free number for no cost victim assistance. It is 1-888-400-5530. It includes pages in Spanish and Chinese. Sections of the site include: financial, child, smart phone, governmental, medical and social network identity theft. The sections include resources, solutions and fact sheets.
Identity Theft: IndianaStateAttorney General Consumer Fraud This page contains the ID Theft Victim Kit and the ID Theft Complaint. Both are in PDF format so they can be easily printed out. The ID Theft Victim Kit describes step-by-step how to go about reclaiming your identity. It also lists the Indiana Laws that protect the victim and which Federal agencies that might need to be contacted depending on circumstances. The page title is: Identity Theft Unit The Url is http://www.in.gov/attorneygeneral/2413.htm.
Identity Theft: Annual Credit Report This is the URL for this site: https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp You will never receive an email directly from the Annual Credit Report Request Service. To ensure that you are visiting the legitimate site, type https://www.annualcreditreport.com directly into the address bar on your browser. It is very important that you are on the right page, since you will have to answer “challenge” questions in order to see your credit history. This site also uses VERISIGN to verify that you are on the correct site and not a fake site. You are entitled to ONE free credit report each year from the three credit reporting agencies. If you choose to look at one report every four months from a different agency each time, you will be able to keep track of your credit history without paying a dime. By using these reports, you can see who has been requesting a report on you and who, in your name has requested credit. If you did not request credit then someone posing as you most likely did.
Identity Theft: Lexus/Nexis Full Disclosure Report Remember that each year you can request a free copy of your credit report. It is possible to request one report from a different agency each quarter of the year . So that you can get a complete picture of who is requesting credit information about you. You should also know about other information that is kept about not only your finances but also about your job history and related civil/legal public reports. The Fair Credit Reporting act also allows you to request and look at these reports as well. A good example of the full data file kept is the Lexus/Nexis Full File Disclosure report. This will cover other information available.
Identity Theft: Lexus/Nexis Full Disclosure Report The information on this report may be found on the Privacy Rights Clearing House web site. On a fact sheet called: Fact Sheet 6b: "Other" Consumer Reports:What You Should Know about "Specialty" Reports The amount of information in this report is very detailed, it covers the following areas: The results of a national criminal records search of your name and personal information. Government records and public information about you such as real estate ownership records, bankruptcies, professional licenses and historical addresses. It reports (one for personal auto insurance and one for personal property/homeowners insurance), each of which summarizes insurance loss history information about you provided to LexisNexis Risk Solutions by participating insurance companies. If you would like to receive this report, on the fact sheet is the information on what is required to request it.
Identify Theft: Final Thoughts If you are lucky, you will never have to deal with this problem if you take the precautions recommended on the first part of this presentation. But if trouble should arise, now you know where to go to find the information that you will need to “fix” the problem.