| Share
 

Catching the Facts on Identity Theft

Source: Federal Trade Commission. Web: www.consumer.gov/idtheft/index.html .

Identity theft occurs when someone uses your bank account number, Social Security number, credit card, or other personal information for his or her own ends. It can be months before the theft has been discovered.

Minimize Risk

Sign your credit cards upon receipt. Only carry cards that you need. Do not carry your Social Security card. Never write your PIN or Social Security number on anything you are going to throw away. Shred documents containing your Social Security number.

Do not release personal information such as your Social Security or bank account number over the phone unless you made the phone call and understand why the information is necessary.

Obtain an annual copy of your credit report from the three main credit bureaus and ensure the material is correct.

Be aware of credit card billing cycles. If you do not receive a bill on time, contact the company. A thief charging purchases to your account would likely change your billing address, so it takes you longer to discover the fraud.

If You are Victimized

If a credit card is stolen, close the account immediately. Notify the three main credit bureaus. Put passwords (not your mother's maiden name) on any new accounts. File a report with the police in the community where the theft occurred. Keep a copy of the report in case it is needed later. If your Social Security number is being used fraudulently, notify the Social Security Administration.

Federal Trade Commission: Identity Theft Clearinghouse, 600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20580, 1-877-ID-THEFT (438-4338).

To report identity theft online: See the FTC consumer information page at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/consumer.shtm.

Main Credit Reporting Bureaus: Equifax, P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241, (800) 525-6285; Experian, P.O. Box 9530, Allen, TX 75013, (888) 397-3742; Trans Union, P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA, (800) 888-4213.

Social Security Administration's Office of the Inspector General: SSA Fraud Hotline, PO Box 17768, Baltimore MD 21235, 1-800-269-0271, Fax: 410-597-0118, Email: oig.hotline@ssa.gov.

See also Stolen Identity: A Consumer Nightmare.


Information Please® Database, © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

Top Internet Fraud Complaints, 2005Consumer ProtectionConsumer Fraud Complaints by Category, 2005

More on Catching the Facts on Identity Theft from Infoplease:

  • Personal Finance - Learn about personal finance, financial planning, investing, tips for a secure retirement, credit cards, debt, 401k plans, Roth IRA, the stock market, and more
  • Consumer Fraud Complaints by Category, 2008 - Consumer Fraud Complaints by Category, 2008 Learn the top 20 consumer fraud complaints as of 2008. ...

Premium Partner Content
HighBeam Research
Documents Images and Maps Reference
(from Newspapers, Magazines, Journals, Newswires, Transcripts and Books)

Research our extensive archive of more than 80 million articles from 6,500 publications.

Additional search results provided by HighBeam Research, LLC. © Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.

24 X 7

Private Tutor

Click Here for Details
24 x 7 Tutor Availability
Unlimited Online Tutoring
1-on-1 Tutoring