Mystery of The Stolen Identity Take Charge of Your Finances Identity Theft
Solve the Mystery “Unlucky” Lucy is one of the many victims of identity theft What is identity theft?
Identity Theft IDENTITY THEFT occurs when someone wrongfully acquires and uses a consumer’s personal identification, credit, or account information The FTC is a government agency that focuses on consumer protection
Identity Theft Statistics Take a guess! According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, what percentage of identity theft victims in 2008 were under the age of 20? According to the Federal Trade Commission, how many identity theft complaints were filed in 2008? 7% of identity theft victims were under 20 years of age 313, 982 identity theft complaints
Identity Theft Victims may have to spend time and money trying to fix the problems that are caused by thieves • 10% of identity theft victims during 2005 reported personal expenses of more than $1200 • 11% of victims in 2005 reported that it took 3 or more months to resolve the problems associated with identity theft after they discovered that their information was being misused
Personal Information Identity thieves try to obtain personal information from victims in order to steal their identities. Personal Information
Personal Information Search your purses, wallets, and backpacks. What are you carrying with you right now that reveals your personal information? Drivers License • Social Security Card • Checkbook • Insurance Cards • Credit and Debit Cards
Personal Information • Making purchases with a check, credit or debit card • Applying for a credit card or loan • Online or telephone shopping • Paying bills through the mail or online • Going to the doctor What daily activities require an individual to share personal information?
Solve the Mystery “Mystery of the Stolen Identity” Act 2 • Listen carefully and take very accurate notes to help Lucy find the person who stole her identity
How Do They Do It? The inspector has identified 4 suspects in Lucy’s case. How does the inspector believe the suspects stole Lucy’s identity? • Mrs. White • Searched through Lucy’s discarded mail • Colonel Mustard • Searched through Lucy’s outgoing mail • Professor Plum • Searched Lucy’s online banking website • Mrs. Peacock • Guessed Lucy’s PIN number
How Do They Do It? • Thieves obtain personal information through a variety of methods: • Stealing- Information is taken from a purse or wallet, personnel records from a workplace, tax information, bank or credit card statements, or pre-approved credit card offers from the mail. • Diverting Mail -Thieves can complete a change of address form and have the victim’s bills and statements mailed to a different location. • “Dumpster Diving” - Personal information is discarded and thieves remove it from the trash. • Skimming- Thieves attach a device to card processors to steal credit and debit card information
How Do They Do It? • Methods continued... • Phishing- Thieves use a form of electronic communication (usually email) to pretend to be a company or depositoryinstitution in order to get the victim to give up their personal information. • Pretexting-Thieves use false pretenses to obtain your personal information from financial institutions, telephone companies, and other sources. • Spyware - Software installed on the victim’s computer, without their knowledge or consent, that monitors internet use, sends pop up ads, re-directs the computer to other sites, and tracks key strokes. • Hacking - Information is stolen by breaking into a computer system.
What Identity Thieves Do With Information What has the identity thief done with Lucy’s personal information so far? The thief has been using Lucy’s credit card to make their own purchases
What Identity Thieves Do With Information • Apply for a new driver’s license • Open new bank accounts • Apply for credit cards or store credit accounts • Obtain cash with bank cards • Get a job • Rent an apartment • Take out student loans • File for bankruptcy What can identity thieves do if they obtain personal information?
Preventing Identity Theft Many actions can be taken to help minimize the risk of identity theft • Mail her documents from a secure post office location • Use a PIN number that is not easy to guess • Shred documents that contain personal information • Make sure to log out of any online banking sites • Never give personal information out over the phone or email What could Lucy have done to help prevent her identity from being stolen?
Preventing Identity Theft “https” s = secure
3 Credit Reporting Agencies Trans Union PO Box 390 Springfield, PA 19064-0390 Report Order: 1-800-888-4213 Fraud Hotline: 1-800-6807289 www.tuc.com Equifax PO Box 105873 Atlanta, GA 30348 Report Order: 1-800-685-1111 Fraud Hotline: 1-800-525-6285 www.equifax.com Experian PO Box 2104 Allen, TX 75013-2104 Report Order: 1-888-397-3742 Fraud Hotline: 1-888-397-3745 www.experian.com To order a credit report from any of the three reporting agencies, use the following website: www.annualcreditreport.com
Preventing Identity Theft • Protect your Social Security number by only giving it out when absolutely necessary • Keep usernames and passwords safe- use a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols that are not easily identified • Select security check questions with answers only you would know • Don't give out personal information over the phone, through the mail, or on the Internet unless you've initiated the contact and are sure you know who you're dealing with Key Guidelines
Preventing Identity Theft • Check credit reports at least once per year • Shred all documents that contain personal information • Be careful using the Internet. Only give out personal information when making a purchase on a secure website • Search your name occasionally to see if any unusual information appears • Be observant and follow your instincts Key Guidelines
Recognizing Identity Theft How did Lucy find out that her identity had been stolen? Her credit card was denied in a store Could Lucy have recognized the identity theft earlier? If so, how? She could have checked her online banking more often and then she would have recognized the extra charges on her credit card
Recognizing Identity Theft • New accounts or charges you didn’t make • Calls from collection agencies • Incorrect information on your credit report • Being denied credit when there is no reason to be • Missing bills or mailed statements Early detection is key! Watch for the following signs
What To Do If Identity Theft Happens What steps did Lucy take when she discovered her identity had been stolen? • She filed a report with the local police What should have Lucy done when she discovered the identity theft?
Deter, Detect, Defend-Avoid Identity theft Hear stories from real-life identity theft victims on the FTC’s “Deter, Detect, Defend- Avoid Identity Theft” video • http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/video/avoid-identity-theft-video.html
Personal Liability • Credit Cards • Truth in Lending Act limits liability for unauthorized charges to $50.00 per card • A letter must be received by the creditor within 60 days of the first bill containing the error • The dispute must be resolved within 90 days of the creditor receiving the letter Since Lucy discovered the theft very quickly, she will only be liable for $50.00 in charges on her credit card!
Personal Liability • ATM and Debit Cards • The Electronic Funds Transfer Act provides protection • The amount a person is liable for depends upon how quickly the loss is reported • Within two days: maximum $50.00 • Within sixty days: maximum $500.00 • After sixty days a person may be liable for everything
Personal Liability • Checks • Contact the financial institution and stop payment • Most states hold the financial institution responsible for losses of a forged check
Identity Theft Protection • Offered by banks and other companies • Services • Closely monitor accounts and personal information • Alert consumer when there is a change • Help resolve any problems if identity theft does occur
Identity Theft Protection • Cost • $5.00 to $35.00 per month • Depends on amount of services provided • Can NOT eliminate identity theft but can help prevent it
Identity Theft Protection What are the pros and cons of identity theft protection?
“Solve the Mystery” Activity • Directions • Divide into 4 groups • Each group will take turns verbally answering a question about identity theft • If the question is answered correctly, the group will receive a clue that will help reveal Lucy’s identity thief • If the question is answered incorrectly, play will move on to the next group and the group that answered incorrectly will not receive a clue • Play will continue until all 12 clues have been won- each group will have at least 3 chances to receive a clue
Who Did It? Who is Lucy’s identity thief? Make your guess! • Mrs. White • Searched Lucy’s discarded mail in the kitchen • Colonel Mustard • Searched Lucy’s outgoing mail in the conservatory • Professor Plum • Searched Lucy’s online banking website in the library • Mrs. Peacock • Guessed Lucy’s PIN number in the hall
Solve the Mystery “Mystery of the Stolen Identity” Act 3 • Find out who the true identity thief is!