IDENTITY THEFT Awareness and Prevention
What is Identity Theft? • IDENTITY THEFT occurs when someone wrongfully acquires and uses a consumer’s personal identification, credit, or account information • Have you or a member of your family been a victim of Identity Theft?
Identity Theft Data(Javelin Strategy and Research 2012 Identity Fraud Survey Report)
What is Personal Information? • Name • Address and Telephone Number • Social Security number • Driver’s license number • Bank account numbers • Credit card numbers • Passwords • Bills
How Do Identity Thieves Acquire Your Personal Identification? • Wallet/Purse Loss or Theft - Information is taken from a lost or stolen wallet/purse (most common method). • Mail and Phones - Information is taken from mailboxes, a change of address form is completed, or personal information is solicited by phone. • “Dumpster Diving” - Personal information is discarded carelessly either at home or by businesses and thieves remove it from the trash. • “Insider Access” - Dishonest employees steal the information and either sell it or use it. • Internet - Personal data taken off the Internet • Credit Reports –A credit report containing personal information may be obtained fraudulently.
How is the Information Used? • To apply for a new driver’s license • To open new bank accounts • To apply for credit cards or store credit accounts • To obtain cash with bank cards • To get a job • To rent an apartment • To make retail purchases
Preventing Identity Theft Credit Reports How Theft Occurs: • Thief fraudulently orders a credit report. • Credit Reports – include all the accounts a person has, social security number, & personal information. Prevention: • Check credit report once per year. • Don’t leave reports lying around.
Preventing Identity Theft Mail How Theft Occurs: • Thief steals mail to learn account numbers and personal information. Prevention: • Deposit outgoing mail in post office collection boxes not unsecured mailboxes. • Promptly remove mail from mailboxes. • If on vacation, put a hold on mail.
Preventing Identity Theft Wallets and Purses How Theft Occurs: • Thief steals a wallet or pocketbook containing a wealth of personal information. Prevention: • Don’t leave it in plain site. • Don’t hang from chair at public place. • Use a purse which closes securely. • Carry only what is absolutely needed.
Preventing Identity Theft Bills How Theft Occurs: • A thief may steal bills containing consumer’s name, address, phone number, bank or credit account numbers, or social security. • May use information to open new accounts. Prevention: • Don’t leave statements lying around. • Pay attention to billing cycles and follow up if bill does not arrive on time.
Preventing Identity Theft Passwords How Theft Occurs: • If a thief has access to passwords, he/she can access accounts, send messages, and sell or purchase items. Prevention: • Don’t give password to anyone. • Don’t write passwords down where others may find them. • Create unique passwords using a combination of numbers and letters.
Preventing Identity Theft Work Records How Theft Occurs: • A thief who has access to work records may have a person’s personal information, social security numbers, or bank information. Prevention: • Ensure personal records are locked securely with limited access by employees.
Preventing Identity Theft Credit Cards How Theft Occurs: • A thief may activate credit cards using pre-approved credit card offers and have the statements sent to a different address. Prevention: • Shred any credit card offers received and not used. • Cut up any pre-approved credit cards not used.
Preventing Identity Theft Checks How Theft Occurs: • If a thief has a person’s bank account and routing number, he/she may create fake checks, withdraw money, or access savings accounts. Prevention: • Don’t leave statements lying around. • Use passwords. • Don’t have checks mailed home. Pick them up at the bank.
Preventing Identity Theft Social Security Number How Theft Occurs: • A social security number is the key to a person’s identity. It opens new accounts, obtain driver’s license, file bankruptcy, etc. Prevention: • Never give our social security number. • Ask for alternate number on driver’s license, insurance cards, and other materials. • Do not carry social security card unless necessary.
Preventing Identity Theft ATM, Credit, and Debit Cards How Theft Occurs: A thief may withdraw money with both an ATM card and PIN number. Credit and debit cards are easy to use because most stores do not compare cards with another form of identification. Can easily be used to purchase merchandise over the phone or internet.
Preventing Identity Theft Prevention: Don’t leave cards lying around. Carry only those which will be used. Use debit cards which require a PIN number. Do not write PIN number down in same place debit card is kept. Carry cards in separate holder from wallet. Sign back of cards stating “Please see I.D.”
Preventing Identity Theft Prevention cont.: Have a list of all cards and account numbers. Don’t give out account number unless making a purchase. Keep track of all receipts. Destroy papers with card numbers on them. Check statements for unauthorized charges.
Why People Shop Online and Risks Why Order products from around the world. Easily research items and compare prices. Can be done at any time in the convenience of own home. Risks Personal information including credit card numbers, social security number, financial records, and bank numbers can be used.
Safety Tips for Shopping Online Know the real deal Get all details before buying including prices, delivery time, warranty information, and return policies. Research the retailler Look for clues about security Make sure the browser states “https” or “shttp” indicating it is secure. Use a credit card Credit cards are the safest way because a person has the legal right to dispute charges. Keep proof of transaction
IF You are A Victim of Identity Theft: Act immediately! Keep a detailed record of correspondence and phone records. Contact the three major credit bureaus and request a “fraud alert.” Follow with a letter sent by certified mail. Close all accounts which have been tampered with or opened fraudulently. File a police report. File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.
What is Your Liability? Truth in Lending Act limits liability for unauthorized charges to $50.00 per card. A letter must be received within 60 days of the first bill containing the error. The dispute must be resolved within 90 days of the creditor receiving the letter. The Electronic Funds Transfer Act provides protection. The amount a person is liable depends upon how quickly the loss is reported. Within two days is a maximum of $50.00. Within sixty days is a maximum of $500.00. After sixty days a person may be liable for everything.
YOU Are Especially Vulnerable Why? Young consumers, 18-29 years of age are the #1 target for identity thieves. Teens are less likely to check their credit card statements Limited credit records that can be monitored Consequences Thief actually develops a credit history under your name. Most teens don’t discover they are victims until they apply for a driver’s license and learn that one has already been issued under their SSN or when they apply for a loan
Identity Theft ScenariosWhat do you recommend? Bethany was awake and shopping online at 2:00 am. She purchased a sweater from a website she had never been on before (it was a great deal) What can she do to ensure her identity was protected while making this purchase?
Identity Theft ScenariosWhat do you recommend? Jacob is working on his taxes and needs to run a quick errand. His papers are spread out on the dining room table. What should he do to protect this sensitive financial and personal information.
Identity Theft ScenariosWhat do you recommend? Jeffers lost his wallet at the movies.
Identity Theft ScenariosWhat do you recommend? Susan received a phone call from someone at her bank. They asked her for her account number for verification.
Identity Theft ScenariosWhat do you recommend? Jonathan is a sales clerk at a local retail store. A customer has a credit card with “See ID” on the back. The customer explains that she has her mom’s permission to use the card.
Identity Theft ScenariosWhat do you recommend? Geraldine carries her social security card in her wallet. She knows this is not a wise idea, but she cannot remember the number when she is asked for it.