Identity Theft. Occurs when someone uses your personal information without your permission for personal gain.

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1 Identity Theft

2 Identity Theft Occurs when someone uses your personal information without your permission for personal gain. Someone uses your personal information to open a department store credit account and buy furniture. This account reported to credit bureau in your name. When the bill is not paid, your credit score will be damaged.

3 Identity Theft Some consumers victimized by identity theft may lose out on job opportunities, or be denied loans for education, housing or cars because of negative information on their credit reports. In rare cases, they may even be arrested for crimes they didn t commit.

4 Identity Theft Tactics Shoulder Surfing Occurs when someone in a public place skims personal information to use against you by overhearing your conversation or viewing your personal information. Be cautious when someone seems to be standing too close when you are on a public computer or at a department store when you are paying. Dumpster Diving Identity thieves have been known to go through a person s trash to gather information. Make sure you shred documents such as bank statements, credit card bills, and receipts before throwing them away.

5 Identity Theft Tactics con t Skimming Involves simply copying your credit card or debit card numbers from your cards. Very often skimmers may be temporary employees of certain businesses. Highly advanced skimmers can even attach card reading devices to ATMs to get your bank account numbers and PIN.

6 Identity Theft Tactics con t Pretexting Occurs when someone improperly accesses your personal information by posing as someone who needs data for one reason or another. Con artist may pose as a business or someone conducting a survey in order to get your information.

7 Identity Theft Tactics con t Phishing When pretexting occurs online. Common phishing techniques include ing e you and asking you to verify account information. Pharming Uses e viruses to redirect you from a legitimate web site to an official-looking looking web site designed to obtain your personal information. Very complex theft tactic.

8 Identity Safeguards Secure your wallet or purse by removing anything with Social Security number or PIN numbers for bank or credit cards. Keep a list of all credit cards and bank accounts. Use a document shredder for receipts and credit card offers. Don t print your Social Security number on checks.

9 Identity Safeguards con t Remove name and address from local phone directories. Use a locked mailbox. Shop online only on secure sites. Don t verify any information over the phone or e unless you initiate contact. Mail all bills at the post office. Monitor your bank and credit card statements.

10 Identity Safeguards con t Be cautious about giving credit card information over a cell phone. Monitor your expected deliveries on credit card purchases. Never have checks delivered to your home. Install firewalls and virus software on your computer. Have your mail held while on vacation.

11 Are you a victim? The best way to find out is to monitor your accounts and bank statements each month, and check your credit report on a regular basis. Unfortunately, many consumers learn that their identity has been stolen after some damage has been done. You many find out when bill collection agencies contact you for overdue debts you never incurred. You may find out when you apply for a mortgage or car loan and learn that problems with your credit history are holding up the loan. You may find out when you get something in the mail about an apartment you never rented, a house you never bought, or a job you never held.

12 Resolving the Theft If you detect a sign of identity theft, ACT QUICKLY! Filing a police report, checking your credit reports, notifying creditors, and disputing any unauthorized transactions are some of the steps you must take immediately to restore your good name.

13 Resolving the Theft con t When you find inaccuracies, contact the three main credit reporting bureaus and file a dispute related to the inaccurate information. Equifax, Credit Information Services, Consumer Fraud Experian,, National Consumer Assistance TransUnion,, Fraud Victim Assistance Department

14 Determining Your Risk It is always important to assess your level of preparedness to defend against identity theft. How prepared are you? Log on to and click on the link for identity theft.

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