Identity theft can happen to anyone.
Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information without your knowledge or consent to commit fraud or other crimes. It's someone using your name, address, birth date, driver's license number, Social Security number, account numbers, etc., to make purchases against your accounts, open up additional accounts, take out loans, or even apply for jobs.
What can I do to reduce my risk of Identity Theft?
Be aware that someone may be trying to collect your personal and financial information. While you may not be financially liable if someone steals your credit card, it can take years to straighten out your records and credit rating. Prevention is a lot less expensive both in terms of time and money.
Don't volunteer personal or financial information over the phone or online.
Ask questions whenever you are asked for personal information that seems inappropriate for the transaction. If you're not satisfied with the answers, don't give your personal information.
- How the information will be used and if it will be shared?
- How it will be protected?
What to do if you think you're a victim of Identity Theft?
Act as quickly as you can.
Contact the companies where your identity may have been compromised--your credit card companies, your bank or credit union, state driver's license office, etc.
There are many good resources available online to learn more about identity theft and what to do if you actually become a victim of identity theft. Check your bank or credit union and credit card companies for information on Identity Theft. Your State Attorney General's office may also have useful information.