What is Identity Theft?
Identity theft is a serious crime. It can
disrupt your finances, credit history, and reputation, and
take time, money, and patience to resolve. Identity theft
happens when someone steals your personal information and
uses it without your permission.
Identity thieves might:
- go through trash cans and dumpsters, stealing
bills and documents that have sensitive information.
- work for businesses, medical offices, or
government agencies, and steal personal information on the
- misuse the name of a legitimate business,
and call or send emails that trick you into revealing personal
- pretend to offer a job, a loan, or an apartment,
and ask you to send personal information to “qualify.”
- steal your wallet, purse, backpack, or
mail, and remove your credit cards, driver’s license,
passport, health insurance card, and other items that show
How Can I Protect My Information?
Do you utilize online banking and
bill pay options?
here for tips on how to make online transactions safe and
you a business owner?
here for tips on how to make online banking for your business
safe and more secure.
Red Flags of Fraud & Identiy
- mistakes on your bank, credit card, or
other account statements
- mistakes on the explanation of medical
benefits from your health plan
- your regular bills and account statements
don’t arrive on time
- bills or collection notices for products
or services you never received
- calls from debt collectors about debts
that don’t belong to you
- a notice from the IRS that someone used
your Social Security number
- mail, email, or calls about accounts or
jobs in your minor child’s name
- unwarranted collection notices on your
- businesses turn down your checks
- you are turned down unexpectedly for a
loan or job
If Your Identity is Stolen...
Flag Your Credit Reports
Call one of the nationwide credit reporting companies, and
ask for a fraud alert on your credit report. The company you
call must contact the other two so they can put fraud alerts
on your files. An initial fraud alert is good for 90 days.
Equifax 1 800 525 6285
Experian 1 888 397 3742
TransUnion 1 800 680 7289
Order Your Credit Reports
Each company’s credit report about you is slightly different,
so order a report from each company. When you order, you must
answer some questions to prove your identity. Read your reports
carefully to see if the information is correct. If you see
mistakes or signs of fraud, contact the credit reporting company.
Create an Identity Theft Report
An Identity Theft Report can help you get fraudulent information
removed from your credit report, stop a company from collecting
debts caused by identity theft, and get information about
accounts a thief opened in your name. To create an Identity
- file a complaint with the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint
or 1-877-438-4338; TTY: 1-866-653-4261. Your completed complaint
is called an FTC Affidavit.
- take your FTC Affidavit to your local
police, or to the police where the theft occurred, and file
a police report. Get a copy of the police report.
The two documents comprise an Identity Theft
For more information on Fraud & Identity
Theft, please visit the following websites: