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How Identity occurs and what to do if it happens to you

How Identity occurs and what to do if it happens to you

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RDrew Identity Theft -- What to Do Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Identity Theft Take Charge of You
  • 2.
    • Introduction
    • How Identity Theft Occurs
    • ID Theft Victims: Immediate Steps
    • Resolving Specific Problems
    • Staying Alert
    • Minimizing Recurrences
    • Questions and Comments
    Agenda
  • 3. Introduction
    • In the course of a busy day, you may
        • Write a check at the grocery store
        • Charge tickets to a ball game online
        • Rent a car
        • Mail your tax returns
        • Change service providers for your cell phone
        • Apply for a credit card
        • Go to an ATM
        • Buy clothing or dinner using a Credit Card
    • Chances are you don’t give these everyday transactions a second thought.
    • But an identity thief does !!!!
    • My #!@$ Identity has been stolen so what the #!@$ do I do ??!!
  • 4. Identity Theft Statistics Credit Card Fraud is the single most common
      • Number of US Adult victims (1 out of 4)
        • 2006 = 9.3 million
        • 2007 = 8.4 million
      • Total one year fraud amount
        • 2006 = 55.7 billion
        • 2007 = 49.3 billion
      • Normal fraud amount per victim
        • 2006 = $6,278
        • 2007 = $5,720
      • Normal fraud resolution time
        • 2006 = 40 hours
        • 2007 = 25 hours
      • 85% of victims find out negative versus 15% of find out from proactive business
      • Average time spent by the victim is 600 hrs
      • Opening a credit card or takeover of card are among crimes committed.
      • Emotional impact is much like a victim of a violent crime.
      • 49% do not know how the information was obtained
  • 5. How Identity Theft Occurs
    • Despite your best efforts to manage the flow of our personal information or to keep it yourself, skilled identity thieves may use a variety of methods to gain access to your data.
    • How Identity Thieves Get Your Personal Information:
      • They get information from businesses or institutions by:
        • Stealing records or information while on the job
        • Bribing an employee who has access to these records
        • Hacking these records
        • Conning information out of employees
      • They may steal your mail , including bank and credit card statements, credit card offers, new checks and tax information.
      • They may use “dumpster diving” which is the act of rummaging through your trash, trash at businesses or public trash dumps.
  • 6. How Identity Theft Occurs
    • How Identity Thieves Get Your Personal Information:
      • They may get your credit reports by abusing their employer’s authorized access to them, or by posing at a landlord, employer, or someone else who may have a legal right to access your report.
      • They may steal your credit or debit card numbers by capturing the information in a data storage device in a practice known as “skimming”. They may swipe your card for an actual purchase, or attach the device to an ATM machine where you may enter or swipe your card.
        • One works with the ATM and just scan your number and PIN
        • The other does not talk to the ATM and will give you: 'Thank you for using Bank of America. There has been a malfunction.'
      • They may steal your wallet or purse.
      • They may steal personal information they find in your home .
      • They may steal personal information from you through email or phone by posing as legitimate companies and claiming that you have a problem with your account. This practice is known as “phishing” online, or “pretexting” by phone .
  • 7. How Identity Theft Occurs An untampered-with cash machine. This is what an ATM looks like A fraudster fits the skimming device to the ATM’s card slot. The device will scan the store personal card details. Next, a strip of metal containing a hidden pinhole camera is affixed to the top of the ATM. Authorities admit these miniature cameras are often very well hidden from view. ATM rigged and ready to roll. All that’s needed is an un-suspecting customer. While a customer is keying in their pin number, the fraudster is around the corner waiting for the wireless skimming device to transmit the card data to a laptop. This data is used to create a cloned card which can be used immediately with the filmed/captured pin number.
  • 8.
    • How Identity Thieves Use Your Personal Information:
      • They may call your credit card issuer to change the billing address on your credit card account. The imposter then runs up charges on our account. Because your bills are being sent to a different address, it may be some time before you realize there’s a problem.
      • They may open new credit card accounts in your name . When they use the credit card(s) and don’t pay the bills, the delinquent account(s) are reported on your credit report.
      • They may establish phone or wireless service in your name .
      • They may open a bank account in your name and write bad checks on that account.
      • They may counterfeit checks or credit or debit cards , on authorize electronic transfers in your name, and drain your bank account.
    How Identity Theft Occurs
  • 9.
    • How Identity Thieves Use Your Personal Information:
      • They may file for bankruptcy under your name to avoid paying debts they’ve incurred under your name, or to avoid eviction.
      • They may buy a car by taking out an auto loan in your name .
      • They may get identification such as a driver’s license issued with their picture , in your name.
      • They may get a job or file fraudulent tax returns in your name.
      • They may give your name to the police during an arrest . If they don’t show up for their court date, a warrant for arrest is issued in your name.
    How Identity Theft Occurs
  • 10. ID Theft Victims: Immediate Steps
    • If you’ve lost personal information or identification, or if it has been stolen from you, taking certain steps quickly can minimize the potential for identity theft.
    • Financial Accounts.
      • Close Accounts, like credit cards and bank accounts.
      • Open new accounts and place passwords on them
        • Avoid using mother’s maiden name, birth date, last four digits of SSNO or your phone number or a series of consecutive numbers.
    • Social Security Number.
      • Call Toll-Free fraud number of any of the 3 nationwide consumer reporting companies
        • Place an Initial Fraud Alert (shown later in this presentation) on your credit reports
        • Alert can stop someone from opening new credit accounts in your name.
    • Driver’s License / other government-issued identification.
      • Contact the agency that issued the license or other identification document
        • Follow their procedures to cancel and to get a replacement
        • Ask the agency to flag your file so that no one else can get a license or any other information document from them in your name.
      • Once you’ve taken precautions, watch for signs that your info is being misused. STAY ALERT...shown later in this presentation
  • 11. ID Theft Victims: Immediate Steps
    • Do the following 4 things.........
    • 1. Place a Fraud Alert on our credit reports, and review your credit reports.
      • Fraud Alerts can help prevent an identity thief from opening any more accounts in your name.
      • You ONLY need to contact 1 or the 3 consumer reporting companies (they pass it along)
        • Equifax:
          • 1-800-525-6285
          • www.equifax.com
          • PO Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
        • Experian:
          • 1-888-EXPERIAN (1-888-397-3742)
          • www.experian.com
          • PO Box 9532, Dallas, TX 75013
        • TransUnion:
          • 1-800-680-7289
          • www.transunion.com
          • Fraud Victim Assistance Division, PO Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834-6790
      • Once you place a fraud alert, you entitled to order free copies of your credit reports. Ask that only the last 4 digits of your SSNO appear on the report !!
      • Once you receive your reports, check your accounts, SSNO, address, name and employers are correct. If you find fraudulent or inaccurate info, get it removed!
  • 12. ID Theft Victims: Immediate Steps
    • 1. Place a Fraud Alert on our credit reports, and review your credit reports continued.
    • Types of Fraud Alerts
      • Initial
        • Stays on your credit report for at least 90 days.
          • Appropriate if your wallet is stolen
          • Or if you’ve been taken in by a “ phishing ” scam (userid/password/sensitive info)
          • Entitled to one free credit report from each of the 3 nationwide companies
      • Extended
        • Stays on your credit report for 7 years.
          • Appropriate if known identity theft
          • Must provide consumer reporting company with an “identity theft report”
          • Entitled to two free credit reports within 12 months from each of the 3 nationwide companies
          • Consumer Reporting Companies will remove your name from marketing lists for pre-screened credit offers for 5 years – unless you ask them to put your name back on the list.
      • Either Initial or Extended
        • You are required to provide appropriate proof of your identity
          • SSNO
          • Name, Address and personal information requested by the Consumer Reporting Company
      • To Remove a Fraud Alert
        • You will need a copy of an identity theft report and proof of your identity.
      • If the business sees an alert on your credit report, they MUST verify your identity before issuing you credit. You may want to include your cell phone on your alert
  • 13. ID Theft Victims: Immediate Steps
    • 2. Close the accounts that you know, or believe, have been tampered with or opened fraudulently.
      • Call and speak with someone in the security or fraud department for each account
        • Follow-up IN WRITING and include copies (NOT Originals) of the supporting documents.
        • Send your letters certified, return receipt requested
        • Keep a file of your correspondence & enclosures.
      • When you open new accounts, use new PINs and passwords. Again, avoid easily available info.
      • If the identity thief has made charges or debits on your accounts, or on fraudulently opened accounts, ask the company for the forms to dispute those transactions.
        • For charges and debits on existing accounts, ask the representative to send you the company’s fraud dispute form. If the company does not have a form use your form (later in presentation) to dispute items.
        • For new unauthorized accounts, ask if the company accepts the ID Theft Affidavit (shown later). If not, ask the representative to send you the company’s fraud dispute form.
      • If the company already has reported these accounts or debts on your credit report, dispute this fraudulent information (Correcting Credit Reports)
      • Once you have resolved your identity theft dispute with the company, ask for a letter stating that the company has closed the disputed account(s) and has discharged the fraudulent debts. This letter is your best proof if errors relating to this account(s) reappear.
  • 14. ID Theft Victims: Immediate Steps
    • 3. File a report with your local police or the police in the community where the identity theft took place.
      • Get a copy of the police report or at least the number assigned to the report.
        • It can help you deal with creditors who need proof of the crime.
        • If the police are reluctant to take your report, ask to file a “ Miscellaneous Incidents ” report or try another jurisdiction, like your state police.
        • You can also check with your Attorney General’s Office to find out if state law requires the police to take an Identity Theft Report. www.naag.org lists state Attorney Generals. Or http://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/Law/identitytheft.htm
    • 4. File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.
      • FTC helps law enforcement officials across the nation track down identity thieves and stop them.
      • FTC can refer complaints to other government agencies and companies for further action as well as investigate companies for violations.
      • You can file a complaint by:
        • Online at www.consumer.gov/idtheft
        • Call the FTC’s Identity Theft Hotline toll-free at 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338)
        • Write to Identity Theft Clearinghouse, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580
      • Call the Hotline to update your complaint with any additional information.
  • 15. ID Theft Victims: Immediate Steps
    • Parts of Identity Theft Report
      • Part One
        • Copy of report filed with:
          • Local, State or Federal Law Enforcement agency
            • Police, State AG, FBI, US Secret Service, FTC or US Postal Inspection Service
        • There is No Federal Law requiring a federal agency to take a report about Identity Theft
        • Some State Laws require local police to take reports
        • When you file the report, provide as much information as you can about the crime, including dates of identity theft, fraudulent accounts opened and the alleged identity thief
  • 16. ID Theft Victims: Immediate Steps
    • Parts of Identity Theft Report
      • Part Two
        • Depends on the policies of the Consumer Reporting Company (CRC) and the information provider company (the business that sent the information to the consumer reporting company).
          • Additional information not provided in Part One
          • CRC MUST make their request within 15 days of receiving your law enforcement report, or, if you already obtained an extended fraud alert on your credit report, the date you submit your request to the credit reporting company for information blocking.
          • You have 15 days to provide the information or be rejected as incomplete.
          • CRC has 5 additional days to review the additional information provided.
        • If the above dates are NOT met, you will have to resubmit your identity theft report with the correct information.
    • NOTE: Knowingly submitting false information could subject you to criminal prosecution for perjury!!!
  • 17.
    • Tips For Organizing Your Case:
    • Accurate and complete records will help you to resolve your identity theft case more quickly.
      • Have a plan when you contact a company.
        • Don’t assume that the person you talk to will give you all the information or help you need.
        • Prepare a list of questions to ask the representative, as well as information about your identity theft
        • Don’t end the call until you’re sure you understand everything you’ve been told. If you need more help, ask to speak to a supervisor.
      • Write down the name of everyone you talk to, what he/she tells you, and the date of the conversation.
      • Follow-up in writing with all contacts you've made on the phone or in person.
        • Certified Mail, return receipt requested so you know who received it and when.
      • Keep copies of all correspondence or forms you send.
      • Keep originals of supporting documents, like police reports and letters to and from creditors; SEND COPIES ONLY !
      • Set up a filing system for easy access to your paperwork
      • Keep old files even if you believe your case is closed. Once resolved, most cases stay resolved, but problems can crop up.
    ID Theft Victims: Immediate Steps
  • 18. ID Theft Victims: Immediate Steps
    • Sample for Organizing Your Case:
  • 19.
    • Bank Accounts & Fraudulent Withdrawals:
    • Do not delay in contacting any companies to deal with these problems
      • Laws may defer
        • Normally State Laws apply to Paper Documents (stolen/counterfeit checks)
        • Normally Federal Laws apply to Electronic Funds Transfer
        • If unsure what type of transaction, ask your financial institution that processed the transaction.
      • Electronic Fund Transfer Act provides consumer protection for transactions involving ATM or debit card, or another electronic way to debit/credit an account.
        • You have 60 days from the date your bank account statement is sent to you to report in writing .
        • This includes instances when your ATM/Debit card is “ skimmed ” (card not stolen/lost).
      • Your liability depends on your quickness.
        • Report loss within 2 business days of discovery = limited to $50
        • Report loss after 2 and before 60 days of discovery = limited to $500
        • Report loss more than 60 days of discovery = you could lose ALL the monies taken
      • After Institution receives notification of an error on your statement
        • Generally has 10 business days to investigate
        • Must respond to you within 3 business days after investigation
        • Must correct an error within 1 business day after determining that it occurred .
        • If the institute needs more time , they can take up to 45 days to complete – but only if the monies in the dispute are returned to your account.
      • More Information? Go to www.consumer.gov/idtheft GREAT WEBSITE!!!!
    Resolving Specific Problems
  • 20.
    • Bank Accounts & Fraudulent Withdrawals:
      • Fraudulent Checks and Other “Paper” Transactions
        • Stop Payment, Close Account then
        • Ask your bank to notify Chex Systems, Inc or the check verification service being used.
        • Federal laws do NOT protect your losses, but some states do
        • Most states hold the bank responsible for losses.
        • State will hold you responsible for the forgery if you fail to notify the bank timely.
      • To Request Notification to Retailers who use their databases not to accept your checks
        • Call TeleCheck at 1-800-710-9898 or 1-800-927-0188
        • Call Certegy, Inc at 1-800-437-5120
      • To find out if the identity thief has been passing bad checks in your name.
        • Call SCAN at 1-800-262-7771
      • If the thief is using the MICR code, close the checking account and open a new one.
      • If the thief is using your driver’s license, work with DMV to get a new one.
      • Dispute any bad checks passed in your name with merchants to prevent collection actions
      • Fraudulent NEW Accounts (trouble opening a new checking because identity thief is using your name)
        • Chex Systems, Inc produces consumer reports specifically about checking accounts.
          • Chex Systems, Inc 1-800-428-9623; www.chexhelp.com
    Resolving Specific Problems
  • 21.
    • Where to Find Help If Your Financial Institution Is Having Trouble Helping You:
      • National Information Center of the Federal Reserve System
        • www.ffiec.gov/nic/ and click on “Institution Search”
      • Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
        • www.fdic.gov supervises state-chartered banks that are not members of the Federal Reserve
        • Consumer Call Center 1-800-934-3342
        • FDIC Publications
          • Classic cons www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/news/cnsprg98/cons.html
          • Your Account Drained Who pays www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/news/cnsprg98/crook.html
          • Lost Wallet www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/news/cnfall97/wallet.html
      • Federal Reserve System (FED)
        • www.federalreserve.gov supervises state-chartered banks that are members of the Federal Reserve
        • Call 1-202-452-3693
      • Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)
        • www.occ.treas.gov supervises national banks (National or N.A. appears in bank name)
        • Call 1-800-613-6743
        • OCC Publications
          • Guide to Avoiding Losses www.occ.treas.gov/chckfrd/chckfrd.pdf
          • Avoid Becoming a Victim www.occ.treas.gov/idtheft.pdf
          • Pretext Advisory www.occ.treas.gov/ftp/advisory/2001-4.doc
      • Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS)
        • www.ots.treas.gov primary regulator of all federal, and many state thrift institutions including savings and loan institutions.
        • Call 1-202-906-6000
    Resolving Specific Problems
  • 22.
    • Bankruptcy Fraud:
      • If you believe someone has filed for bankruptcy in your name
        • U.S. Trustee (UST) – www.usdoj.gov/ust Write to UST in the region where the bankruptcy was filed
        • List of UST Regional Offices on above website or check phone book for U.S Government Bankruptcy Administration
        • In the letter, describe the situation and provide proof of your identity
        • UST will make a criminal referral to law enforcement authorities
        • You may want to file a complaint with the US Attorney and/or FBI in the city where the bankruptcy was filed.
        • Ask the bankruptcy court to send a copy of the dismissal order to each consumer reporting company, if the court will not, you should send the order to each.
    • Correcting Fraudulent Information in Credit Reports:
      • The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) establishes procedures for correcting fraudulent info on the credit report
        • Under FCRA, both the reporting company and information provider (ie Bank) are responsible for correcting the info
        • Consumer Reporting Obligations:
          • Will block fraudulent info from appearing on your credit report if you take the following steps:
            • Send them a copy of an identity theft report and a letter telling them what info is fraudulent
            • Proof of your identity including SSNO, name, address and personal info requested by reporting company
          • Consumer Reporting Company has 4 business days to block the fraudulent info after accepting the above letter
          • Must tell the Information Provider (ie Bank) that it has blocked the info
    Resolving Specific Problems
  • 23. Resolving Specific Problems
  • 24.
    • Correcting Fraudulent Information in Credit Reports:
      • Information Provider Obligations:
        • They will stop reporting fraudulent info to the consumer reporting companies once you send them an identity theft report and letter.
        • They may not also hire someone to collect the debt that relates to the fraudulent account, or sell that debt to anyone else who would try to collect it.
    • Credit Cards:
      • The Fair Credit Billing Act establishes procedures for resolving billing errors on your credit card accounts, including fraudulent charges.
      • The law limits your liability for unauthorized charges to $50, but you MUST :
        • Write to the creditor at the address given for “ billing inquiries ”, NOT the address for sending payments. Include name, address, account #, and a description of billing error including amount and date of error. (Sample on next slide)
        • Send your letter so that it reaches the creditor within 60 days after the first bill containing the error . If the theft changed your address on the bill, it is up to you to keep track of when you receive the bill and call the creditor and get the letter to them .
        • Send the letter Certified and request a return receipt.
        • Include COPIES NOT Originals of the police report or other documents
        • Keep a copy of the dispute letter
      • The Creditor MUST acknowledge your complaint in writing within 30 days after receiving it, unless the problem has been resolved .
      • The Creditor MUST resolve the dispute within 2 billing cycles (but not more than 90 days )
    Resolving Specific Problems
  • 25. Resolving Specific Problems
  • 26.
    • Criminal Violations:
      • Procedures to correct your record within criminal justice databases vary for state to state and county to county. Check with the office of the State Attorney General, but here is a general guideline :
        • Contact the police/sheriff’s department that originally arrested the person using your identity or the court that issued the warrant for arrest.
        • File an impersonation report with the police/sheriff’s department and confirm your identity
        • Ask the police/sheriff’s department to take a full set of fingerprints, photograph you, and make copies of your photo identification documents (driver’s license/passport or travel visa)
        • To establish your innocence, ask the police/sheriff’s department to compare the prints/photographs to the imposter .
        • If the arrest warrant is from a state/county other than yours, ask your local police to send the impersonation report to the jurisdiction where the violation took place.
        • Law Enforcement should recall any warrants and issue a “ clearance letter” or “certificate of release ” (if arrested and booked). KEEP THEM .
        • Ask that law enforcement file the record with the District Attorney (DA) where the crime took place .
        • Ask that the “key name” or “primary name” be changed to the impostors name or John Doe if the impostor name is unknown with your name noted as an alias.
        • Ask the DA’s office for appropriate court records needed to clear your name and
        • Finally, contact DMV to find out if your driver’s license is being used by the Identity thief . Ask that your files by flagged for possible fraud.
    • Debt Collectors:
      • The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act prohibits debt collectors from using unfair or deceptive practices to collect overdue bills
      • You can stop a debt collector from contacting you in 2 ways:
        • Write a letter to the Collection Agency telling them to STOP . Once the debt collector receives your letter, the company may not contact you again – with 2 exceptions .
          • They can tell you there will be no further contact
          • They can tell you that the debt collector or creditor intends to take some specific action
        • Send your letter so that it reaches the collection agency within 30 days after receiving written notice of the debt telling them you do not owe the monies . Again, include a COPY of the police report.
        • The burden is on the Collection Agency to prove that you are wrong . Ask for a copy of the signature on any paperwork associated with the debt.
        • Make sure you contact the original company so they do not send the debt to another Collection Agency
    Resolving Specific Problems
  • 27.
    • Driver’s License:
      • If you think your SSNO is being used by an identity thief to get a driver’s license, contact the DMV. If your state uses SSNO as your driver’s license number, ask to substitute with another number. (CT does not use SSNO)
    • Investment Fraud:
      • U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) – www.sec.gov
      • Office of Investor Education and Assistance serves for complaints about investment fraud or mishandling of investments by securities professionals
      • Any identity thief tampering with security investments should be immediately reported to your broker and the SEC
      • Complaints can be filed at www.sec.gov/complaint.shtml or call 202-551-6551
      • Enclose as much detail as possible
    • Mail Theft:
      • U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) – www.usps.gov /websites/depart/inspect
      • Law Enforcement arm of US Postal Service that investigates cases of identity theft.
      • If an identity thief has stolen your mail to get credit cards, bank/credit card statements or other info or has falsified change-of-address forms to obtain your personal info , report it to your local postal inspector
      • Call your local post office for the nearest USPIS district office or visit the above website
    • Passport Fraud:
      • U.S. Department of State (USDS) – www.travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html
      • If you’ve lost your passport, or believe it was stolen or being used fraudulently, contact the above office. Local field offices are listed in the phone book.
    Resolving Specific Problems
  • 28.
    • Phone Fraud:
      • If an identity thief has established phone service in your name, is making unauthorized calls from your phone or is using your PIN:
        • Contact your service provider and cancel the account and/or calling card immediately .
        • Open new accounts with new PINS
        • If you are having trouble getting fraudulent phone charges removed:
          • For local service, contact your state Public Utility Commission
          • For cellular and long distance, contact the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) – www.fcc.gov or call 1-888-CALL-FCC
          • File a complaint online at www.fcc.gov or email to [email_address]
    • Social Security Number Misuse:
      • Social Security Administration (SSA) – www.ssa.gov
      • If you have specific info of SSNO misuse that involves the buying or selling of SSNO cards, it may be related to terrorist activity, or is designed to obtain Social Security benefits, contact the Office of Inspector General
      • Complaints can be filed at www.socialsecurity.gov/oig or call 1-800-269-0271
      • Call 1-800-772-1213 to verity the accuracy of the earnings reported or request a replacement SSNO card if yours is lost/stolen
    Resolving Specific Problems
  • 29.
    • Student Loans:
      • Contact the school/program that opened the loan and close the loan
      • Report the fraudulent loan to the U.S. Department of Education – www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oig/hotline.html?src = rt
      • Call the Inspector General’s Hotline at 1-800-MIS-USED
    • Tax Fraud:
      • Internal Revenue Service (IRS) – www.treas.gov/irs/ci
      • IRS is responsible for administering and enforcing tax laws .
      • For tax records, go to www.irs.gov and type in the IRS key word “Identity Theft”
      • If you have an unresolved issue that is causing a hardship, visit the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service at www.irs.gov/advocate or call 1-877-777-4778
      • If you suspect or know of an individual/company that is not complying with the tax law report it to the IRS Criminal Investigation Informant Hotline by calling 1-800-8290433 or go to www.irs.gov and type in the IRS key word “Tax Fraud”
    Resolving Specific Problems
  • 30. Staying Alert
    • Once resolved, most cases of identity theft stay resolved. But occasionally, some victims have recurring problems. To help stay on top of the situation:
      • Monitor your credit reports
      • Read your Financial Account Statements promptly and carefully
      • Look for the following :
        • Failing to receive bills or other mail
        • Being denied credit or being offered less favorable credit terms
        • Receiving Credit Cards you didn’t apply for
        • Getting calls or letters from debt collectors or businesses about merchandise or services you didn’t buy
    • Getting Your Credit Report:
      • FREE Annual Credit Reports.
      • The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months.
      • Visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call 1-877-322-8228
      • Or mail the printed form to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, PO Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
      • You can print this form at www.ftc.gov/credit
      • DO NOT contact the 3 nationwide companies individually . They ARE NOT free unless you go to the above website, call or mail as instructed above.
      • MAKE SURE you spell the website correctly to avoid being misdirected to other websites that offer supposedly free reports, but only with the purchase of other products.
      • You ARE NOT required to purchase additional products/services to receive your free annual credit reports .
    • Other Consumer Rights to Free Reports:
      • Under Federal Law, you’re entitled to a free report if a company takes adverse action against you, such as denying your application for credit . You must request your report within 60 days of receiving notice.
      • You are entitled to 1 free report a year if you're unemployed and plan to look for a job with 60 days , you are on welfare or your report is inaccurate because of fraud . Otherwise, a consumer reporting company may charge you up to $9.50 for another copy of you report within a 12 month period.
  • 31. Minimizing Recurrences
    • When it comes to identity theft, you can’t control whether you will become a victim. But there are certain steps you can take to minimize recurrences:
    • What to do TODAY:
      • Place passwords on your credit card, bank and phone accounts.
        • Avoid using easily available information such as mother’s maiden name, birth date, last 4 digits of SSNO
      • Secure personal information in your home, especially if you have employed outside services or are having work done in your home
      • Ask about information security procedures in your workplace or at businesses like doctor’s offices.
        • Find out who has access to your personal information and verify that is handled securely
        • Ask about the disposal procedures for your records
        • Find out if the information is shared with anyone else, if so how is your information kept confidential
  • 32. Minimizing Recurrences
    • Maintaining Vigilance:
      • Do NOT give out personal information on the phone, through the mail, or on the Internet unless YOU have initiated the contact or are sure you know who you are dealing with.
        • Identity Thefts are clever posing as banks, ISP or even government agencies to get SSNO or other personal information.
        • Check an organization’s website by TYPING the URL in the address line, rather than cutting and pasting it.
        • You can call Customer Service, the number is normally on your account statement .
        • For more info see, “How Not to Get Hooked by a ‘Phishing’ Scam” on www.consumer.gov/idtheft
      • Treat your mail and trash carefully
        • Deposit OUTGOING mail in post office collection boxes or your local post office
          • FLAG UP on your mailbox means come steal my identity!!!
            • Ron says “Flag Shown..Cover Blown”
        • Remove INCOMING mail from your mail box promptly if possible.
          • Identity thefts love to open mailboxes and take out bills and/or statements
        • If you are planning to be away , have the Post Office hold your mail. I believe you need to give the Post Office 3 days notice . Fill out the Yellow Card!!
        • Before putting your garbage out, shred your charge receipts, copies of credit applications, insurance forms, physician statement, checks and bank statements . You get it!! Anything that has an account, SSNO or something an Identity Theft. Shredder normally cost $50 or so. Better than having your identity stolen!!
  • 33. Minimizing Recurrences
    • Maintaining Vigilance :
      • Don’t carry your SSNO card or number with you; leave it in a secure place
      • Give your SSNO only when absolutely necessary, ask to use other types of identifiers.
        • If your state uses SSNO as your driver’s license number, ask to substitute it with another number
        • Same if your health insurance company uses your SSNO as your policy number
      • Special Word About SSNO
        • Your employer & financial institution will need the SSNO for wage and tax reporting
        • Other businesses may ask for your SSNO to do credit checks if you are applying for a loan, renting an apartment, or signing up for utilities.
        • Sometimes, however they simply want your SSNO for general record keeping . If so ask:
          • Why do you need my SSNO?
          • How will my SSNO be used?
          • How do you protect my SSNO from being stolen?
          • What will happen if I don’t give you my SSNO?
        • If you don’t provide your SSNO, some businesses will NOT provide you with the service or benefit you want. Getting satisfactory answers to the above will help you decide to share or not. The decision to share is yours.
      • Only carry identification information and credit/debit cards that you actually need when you go out. Many people carry multiple credit cards... bad move.
      • Be cautious when responding to promotions. Identity thefts may create a phony promotional offer to get you to give them your personal information.
      • Keep you wallet/purse in a safe place at work; do the same with any administrative forms that have sensitive personal information.
      • When ordering new checks, pick them up at the bank if possible instead of having them mailed to your home mailbox.
  • 34. Minimizing Recurrences
    • Tips that can help you keep your computer safe :
      • Upgrade your virus protection regularly and patches for your operating system and other software programs installed. Set the virus protection to automatically update weekly . Windows XP can be set to automatically check for patches and download them.
      • Don’t open files from strangers, or click on hyperlinks or download programs from people you don’t know
        • Opening files could expose your system to a virus or a program known as “spyware” which captures passwords you type.
      • Use a firewall program , especially if you use a high-speed Internet connection like cable, DSL or T1 that leaves your computer connected 24 hours a day. Also wireless set-ups!!!
        • Firewall will allow you to stop uninvited access to your computer (like your neighbor)
        • Without it, hackers can take over your computer, access the personal info stored on it and commit crimes.
      • Use a SECURE browser
        • Software that encrypts or scrambles info you send over the Internet – to guard your online transactions
        • When submitting information, look for the “lock” icon on the status bar .
      • Try NOT to store financial information on your laptop unless absolutely necessary .
        • If you do, use a strong password – a combination of letters (upper and lower case), numbers and symbols. Or use a phase and take the first letter of each.
          • Fairfield at 123 Post Rd. Would become: Fa123PR
        • Don’t use an automatic log-in feature that saves name and password . If the computer is stolen, it is easier for the thief to get the info. Try using SPLASH . It is only $20 and can sync to cell phone.
      • Before you dispose of the computer, delete all personal information stored .
        • Reformat the hard drive or use a “wipe” utility to overwrite do not just empty the recycle bin.
      • Look at the Website Privacy Policy we all just click OK or AGREE on . It should answer questions about access, security and control of personal info, how the info will be used and whether it will be provided to 3 rd parties. If you don’t see a privacy policy, consider doing business elsewhere.
  • 35. Identity Theft Affidavit Page 1
  • 36. Identity Theft Affidavit Page 2
  • 37. Identity Theft Affidavit Page 3
  • 38. Identity Theft Affidavit Page 4
  • 39. Identity Theft Affidavit Page 5 Fraudulent Account Statement
  • 40. Questions ????? ThankYou….. [email_address] Now Take Charge !!!!