Preventing. Identity. Theft. Protecting Your Assets

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1 Preventing Identity Theft Protecting Your Assets

2 1 What Is Identity Theft? Identity Theft occurs when someone uses your name, address, Social Security number, bank or credit card account number, or other identifying information without your knowledge to commit fraud or other crimes. A recent report stated 1 in 8 adults were victims of Identity Theft.* Workshop Agenda Assess Your Risk Adjust Your Behaviors Protect Yourself Clear Your Name Are You at Risk of Identity Theft? l Are you careful with personal financial information? l Do you give others personal information on the phone or internet? l Do you watch the kind of information you put in the trash? l Do you take unnecessary chances of losing your purse or wallet? l Do you know how your bank and other businesses use the information you give them? Real Life Identity Theft Lisa, age 30, always mailed her credit card payments from her home. Her regular mailing routine, numerous accounts, and lack of record keeping made her an easy target for identity thieves. How Serious Is the Problem? * Identity Theft Survey Report, Federal Trade Commission, September Identity Theft is the fastest growing crime. White-Collar Crime Percentage of criminals caught %. Average theft $.

3 Three Elements of Identity Information 1. What you. l Account numbers l Passwords and PIN numbers 2. What you. l Bank accounts l Credit and debit cards 3. Who you. l Signature l Fingerprint l Photograph How Does Someone Steal an Identity? Thief acquires personal. l Driver s license number l Name and address l Social Security number l Credit card number Thief uses that information for gain. How Do Thieves Get the Information in the First Place? l Trash l Wallet or purse l Mail l Conversations you have in public l Telephone and l Loan and credit application l Files at a hospital, bank, school, and business l Hack into your computer l Steal a credit statement or something else from your house l Complete change of address form at the post office and redirect mail l Pose as someone authorized to get your credit report l Personnel records at work What Happens Next? l Thief diverts victim s. l Rents apartment and leases cars. l Gets new. l Spends! 2

4 3 Identity Theft IQ Test Are you at risk of Identity Theft? Determine your identity theft Identity Quotient. If a statement is something you do or something that happens to you circle the points in front of the statement. 5 pts I do receive at least one offer of a pre-approved credit card every week. 5 pts I do not shred the credit card offers before I put them in the trash. 10 pts I do carry my Social Security card in my wallet. 5 pts My driver s license does have my Social Security number printed on it. 5 pts I do not have a P.O. Box or locked, secure mailbox. 10 pts I do mail my outgoing mail from home or I drop it in an unlocked box at work. 10 pts I do carry my military ID in my wallet or purse at all times. 10 pts I do not shred banking and credit information when I throw it in the trash. 10 pts I do provide my Social Security number when someone asks, without asking questions as to how that information will be safeguarded. 5 pts I do provide my Social Security number verbally without checking to see who might be listening. 5 pts I am required to use my Social Security number as an employee ID or at college as a student ID. 10 pts My Social Security number is printed on my employee badge that I wear at work, it is posted on my time card in full view of others, or it is on other documents frequently seen by others in my workplace. 10 pts I do have my Social Security number and/or driver s license number printed on my personal checks. 5 pts I am listed in a Who s Who guide. 10 pts I do carry my insurance card in my wallet or purse with my and/or my spouse s Social Security number as the ID number. 20 pts I have not ordered a copy of my credit report in the last two years. 10 pts I do not believe that people would sort through my trash looking for credit or financial information or for documents containing my Social Security number. Each one of these statements represents a possible avenue for an identity thief. Total your IQ by adding the points you circled. My Identity Quotient totals points. Understanding Your Score 100 or more points You are at high risk of Identity Theft. You may want to consider purchasing a paper shredder. Become more aware of your document handling behaviors. Start asking why people want your personal financial information points Your chances of being victimized are about average. Unfortunately, the chances are higher if you have good credit points Congratulations. You have a high IQ (Identity Quotient). Keep up the good work and don t let your guard down. Risk increases with good credit rating.

5 4 Adjust Your Behaviors 1. Close inactive. 2. Keep receipts, bank statements and credit card numbers in a safe place and them before you dispose of them. 3. Destroy the after a credit card purchase. 4. Never give out personal information over the. 5. Review your credit card statements, utility bills and bank statements for accuracy or for unusual. Prevention: Ways to Minimize Your Risk Social Security Number l Guard closely with your Social Security number, a thief can u Obtain employment u Open accounts u Obtain loans l The more eyes that see it, the more susceptible you are to Identity Theft. l Before providing Social Security number to anyone, ask if another form of identification will do. Checks l Use only your first. l Use your work phone number. l If you have a P.O. Box, use it rather than your address. l Never put your Social Security number or driver s license number on your checks. l Just use the last four numbers of your account number on the For line of the check when paying bills. ATMs l Shield keypad. l Ask, Does the machine look right? l Memorize your.

6 5 Credit Cards l Monitor your. u Experian u Equifax u TransUnion l Match credit card receipts and statements l Cut up old or expired credit cards l Close inactive accounts l Destroy carbons At Home l Instruct children on what information they should not give over the telephone. l Invest in a. l Keep copies of your license and credit cards. Mail l Put mail on vacation hold at the post office when traveling. l Do not mail bill payments and checks from. Telephone l Don t say the word. l Never give personal information or credit card numbers. Computer l Virus protection l Firewall l Secure browser l Use a wipe utility program to erase personal information when discarding it l Web site privacy policies u Secure transaction changes to.

7 Passwords l Never tell anyone or write it down. l Make it easy to remember. l Use at least characters with a mixture of numbers, letters and other symbols. l Do not use your name or names of family members, friends, pets, famous people, etc. l Do not use numbers associated with you (address, birthday, anniversary, Social Security number, phone number, etc.). l Change your password at regular intervals If You Do Become a Victim Clearing Your Name 1. Police report 2. Call all financial institutions get credit report 3. Stop payment on cards and checking accounts 4. Do not change your. 5. Do get a new. Take Action l l Warning Signs l Collection calls l Denied credit l Driver s license revoked l Credit card company unusual purchases l Bills on accounts never opened l No bill for a billing cycle l Changes on bills not authorized Once you have determined you are a victim of identity theft you must act quickly! It usually takes months for a victim even to become aware of the crime. 6

8 A Member of Western & Southern Financial Group 2005 Touchstone Securities, Inc. TSF-1019-B-0504

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