Identity theft


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Identity theft

  2. 2. A form of stealing someones identity . Someone pretends to be someone else. In order to access resources or obtain credit and other benefits in that persons name. When someone uses your personal identifying information.
  3. 3.  Your name Social Security number credit card number, without your permission, to commit fraud or other crimes.
  4. 4.  Dumpster Diving. They rummage through trash looking for bills or other paper with your personal information on it. Skimming. They steal credit/debit card numbers by using a special storage device when processing your card. Phishing. They pretend to be financial institutions or companies and send spam or pop-up messages to get you to reveal your personal information.
  5. 5.  Changing Your Address. They divert your billing statements to another location by completing a change of address form. Old-Fashioned Stealing. They steal wallets and purses; mail, including bank and credit card statements; pre-approved credit offers; and new checks or tax information. They steal personnel records, or bribe employees who have access. Pretexting. They use false pretenses to obtain your personal information from financial institutions, telephone companies, and other sources
  6. 6.  Credit card fraud: They may open new credit card accounts in your name. When they use the cards and dont pay the bills, the delinquent accounts appear on your credit report. They may change the billing address on your credit card so that you no longer receive bills, and then run up charges on your account. Because your bills are now sent to a different address, it may be some time before you realize theres a problem. Phone or utilities fraud: They may open a new phone or wireless account in your name, or run up charges on your existing account. They may use your name to get utility services like electricity, heating, or cable TV.
  7. 7.  Bank/finance fraud: They may create counterfeit checks using your name or account number. They may open a bank account in your name and write bad checks. They may clone your ATM or debit card and make electronic withdrawals your name, draining your accounts. They may take out a loan in your name. Government documents fraud: They may get a drivers license or official ID card issued in your name but with their picture. They may use your name and Social Security number to get government benefits. They may file a fraudulent tax return using your information.
  8. 8.  Other fraud: They may get a job using your Social Security number. They may rent a house or get medical services using your name. They may give your personal information to police during an arrest. If they dont show up for their court date, a warrant for arrest is issued in your name.
  9. 9.  Victims must also deal with abusive collection agencies. They are threatened with law suits, garnished wages, and having their homes taken away from them. Another common experience of victims is that they must spend a great deal of time cleaning up the mess. Ive talked to many who are taking the day or the week off work so they can make the necessary phone calls, write the letters, and get affidavits notarized. This costs them money as well. Many victims are saddled with this situation for years.
  10. 10.  There was an Hispanic man, a U.S. citizen, who was visiting relatives in Tijuana, Mexico, across the border from San Diego. He was taken into secondary inspection by U.S. Customs on his return trip to San Diego. A search of his SSN showed he was wanted for a crime in the Bay Area. He was transported from San Diego to San Francisco and put in jail. It took him 10 days before one of the officers believed him, took his fingerprints as he had requested all along, and realized they had the wrong person
  11. 11. The best way to find out is to monitor your accounts and bank statements each month, and check your credit report on a regular basis. If you check your credit report regularly, you may be able to limit the damage caused by identity theft. Unfortunately, many consumers learn that their identity has been stolen after some damage has been done. You may find out when bill collection agencies contact you for overdue debts you never incurred.
  12. 12.  You may find out when you apply for a mortgage or car loan and learn that problems with your credit history are holding up the loan. You may find out when you get something in the mail about an apartment you never rented, a house you never bought, or a job you never held.
  13. 13.  Personal identity thieves are very opportunistic. Think babysitters snooping through a desk drawer, or a maid rummaging in the basement. Beauticians, waiters and waitresses, your local gas station clerk, or anyone else you hand your credit card to are key people to watch as well. Hide important documents, keep them in a personal safe, or better yet in a safe deposit box at the bank.
  14. 14.  Protect social security numbers, even from family. Schools often ask for a child’s social security number, but they don’t need it. Your insurance company will probably need it, and the government will want it. Although neither of these institutions has a good reputation for protecting your information, there are usually laws involved that require you give this information away.
  15. 15. Be paranoid, the least a little. While dad is taking the babysitter home, mom might check to see if the desk has been rummaged after she looks in on the kids. Check your own information if a friend tells you they were a victim of identity theft recently. (It gives you a good excuse, and you know you need to look anyway.) Shred your personal information. Look for it on bills, bank statements, anything more than your name and address can be used by an identity thief. Shredding this information before you throw it to the curb for the trash man may be the most important thing you can do to