What Is Identity Theft • When someone uses your identity for their own gain • Typically to access resources or obtain credit. • Stealing an identity is, unfortunately, surprisingly easy to do and happens when you least expect it.
How to Protect Yourself • Protect your social security number. • Use caution when giving out personal information • Shred or destroy papers that have personal information • Check your bills and bank statements • Check your credit reports
How big is the issue? • According to Javelin strategies, an important research firm that makes often reports on identity theft incidences of the crime increased by 11% from 2009 to 2010, altering the lives of eleven million Americans. • This means that one in every 20 Americans risks being a victim this year. • Over 30 million victims in past five years (Federal Trade Commission, 2003 and Better Business Bureau, 2005) • Top consumer complaint to FTC five years in a row (Federal Trade Commission, National and State Trends in Fraud and Identity Theft, February 1, 2005)
Where Does Identity Happen? • Places of business: employeesand managers asking for your social security number. • Internet- through emails • Schools and Universities: filling out financial aid applications, student id numbers. • ATMS: using a technique called “skimming” They get your information by attaching a data storage device to an ATM machine and get your information when you swipe your card. • Phone Fraud: making unauthorized calls.
Getting Help! • Start with a fresh credit report • Contact the police and report a credit card thief • Place a fraud on your credit reports • Close any accounts that you feel contain fraudulent information • File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission