Identity Theft Prevention Tips

Identity theft is a growing type of fraud worldwide. With the boom in Internet communications and commerce more and more information is submitted electronically, which makes identity theft a growing problem worldwide. Identity theft involves stealing someone's personal identifying information (such as name, address, and date of birth, social security number, credit card numbers, and driver's license numbers). Criminals who steal this personal information will use it to fraudulently obtain credit, money, goods, services and other property, including insurance policies.

Upon falsely assuming an identity, thieves will commit crimes including: opening phony bank accounts, establishing insurance policies, stealing from established bank accounts, obtaining unauthorized credit cards, applying for car or house loans, and leasing apartments with false names.

Shred or tear up any personal financial documents before throwing them in the trash.

This is the most common way criminals gather your information!

Prevention Tips

  • Do not print personal identifiers such as your social security number, date of birth or driver's license number of your check
  • Use your social security number only when necessary
  • Before revealing any information, online or in person, ask how it will be used
  • Do not answer personal, financial or identifying questions to an unknown telephone caller
  • Pay attention to billing cycles. ID thieves may reroute bills to another address to hide their illegal activities
  • Carefully review your monthly credit card statements, checking for any unauthorized use
  • Get a copy of your credit report at least once a year to check for errors
  • Eliminate the number of cards you carry, especially your social security card and passport

Visit the Federal Trade Commission website to access the extensive information on what to do if you are the victim of identity theft.