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IDENTITY THEFT EPIDEMIC How can we protect ourselves.

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Presentation on theme: "IDENTITY THEFT EPIDEMIC How can we protect ourselves."— Presentation transcript:

1 IDENTITY THEFT EPIDEMIC How can we protect ourselves

2 Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in the World It is the #1 threat to consumers. HINT: This is NOT the answer to #1

3 Number of Reported Identity Thefts, 2000 to 2006.

4 We will cover the following topics:  What is identity theft?  What information thieves need.  Why it is it done.  Types of fraud.  How it is done.  Preventive actions.  Internet and on-line services.  Credit Bureaus (who to contact).  Steps for victims.

5 What is Identity Theft? Acquiring key pieces of someone’s identifying information in order to impersonate them.

6 Information the identity thief needs: Social Security Number Home address Date of Birth Phone Numbers Drivers License Number Pin #’s Bank Account Numbers Mother’s maiden name

7 What thieves do with your personal information Obtain cash with bank cards Get jobs Rent an apartment Make retail purchases Get a phone or other utilities Give your name during an arrest Use insurance information to obtain medical procedures. Buy cars or houses taking out loans in your name. Sell business information to competitors. Apply for credit card or store credit accounts

8 and… Contact your creditors, gain access to your accounts, change mailing addresses and begin using the account. Open new credit or bank accounts and obtain loans File bankruptcy under your name to avoid paying debts they falsely incurred or to avoid eviction. Counterfeit checks or debit cards and drain your bank account. File fraudulent tax returns. Obtain driver’s licenses and other fake identification documents.

9 Types of Fraud FTC ID Theft Clearing House February 2007 correlated with internal NIDR Identity Theft Recovery statistics

10 How Victims’ Information is Misused

11 How do they get your information?  Purse snatching.  Mail Theft.  Change of Address. Thieves divert your mail to another location.  Dumpster diving. Thieves rummage through residential or business trash, looking for personal information.  Masquerading. Thieves fraudulently pose as your employer, landlord or someone else with a legitimate need for your personal information.  Stealing work records.  Home theft.

12 They often target your mail…  Steal incoming and outgoing mail delivery.  Break into mail boxes, sometimes taking the entire unit.  Drive through residential areas looking for mail boxes with flags raised.  Pose as delivery persons of flyers just to get to boxes on houses.  Occurs during late evening or early morning, when dark.  Put mail in backpacks or garbage bags.  Ride off on bikes.

13 or any other method they can use.  Internet theft. Thieves obtain personal information from unsecured Web sites that you may have visited.  Insider crime. People who have access to personal identifying information steal it to use themselves or to sell to thieves.  Pretexting. Thieves pretend to be you or a legitimate requestor and persuade business employees to provide them with personal info.  Corporate espionage. Thieves steal business secrets such as new product plans or bidding strategy.

14 Eighteen to twenty-nine year-olds are particularly at risk because they are less likely to check their credit and are more likely to apply for credit cards without reading the fine print or considering the source.

15 Theft Triangle – Like a three legged stool NEED - Motivation ABILITY - ToolsOPPORTUNITY

16 Opportunity This is the only leg of the triangle or stool that we can control. If we can take away or limit the opportunity for theft, then we are ahead of the game. So how do we get rid of the opportunity?

17 Preventive Actions  Promptly remove mail from your mailbox.  Have checks mailed to your bank – not your home address.  Deposit outgoing mail in post office collection boxes or at your local post office. - Do not leave mail in an unsecured mail box.  NEVER give personal information over the telephone unless YOU initiated the call.  NEVER give personal information over the internet unless YOU initiate the transaction.

18 Preventive Actions (cont.)  Purchase a crosscut-type shredder and use it.  Shred pre-approved credit card applications, credit card receipts, bills and other financial information you don’t need.  Empty your wallet/purse of extra credit cards and Id’s  Don’t carry your birth certificate, social security number, or passport unless necessary.  Order your credit report from the three credit bureaus once or twice a year to check for discrepancies.  NEVER leave receipts at bank machines, bank windows, or unattended gasoline pumps.

19 Preventive Actions (cont.)  Ask all financial institutions, doctors’ offices, etc., what they do with your private information and make sure they shred it and protect your information.  Memorize your SSN and all your passwords.  Make up fictitious passwords, don’t use names.  Sign all new credit cards upon receipt.  Save all credit card receipts and match them against your monthly bills.  Be conscious of normal billing statement cycles. - Contact sender if they are not received on time.

20 Preventive Actions (cont.)  Notify credit card companies or financial institutions in advance of any changes in address or phone #.  If you applied for a new credit card and it hasn’t arrived in a timely manner, call the issuing bank or credit card company.  Report lost or stolen credit cards immediately.  Know your expiration dates. - Contact issuer if replacements are not received promptly.  Make a list of all credit card numbers, financial account numbers and contacts, keep in a safe place.

21 Internet and On-Line Services  Use caution when disclosing account numbers, credit card numbers, or other personal data at any web site or on-line service location unless you receive a secured authentication key from your provider.  NEVER give any password out when asked with the exception of “logon” screen.  When you subscribe to an on-line service, you may be asked to give credit card information. - When you enter an interactive service site, beware of con artists who may ask you to “confirm” your enrollment service by disclosing passwords or the credit card account number you used to subscribe.

22 Credit Bureaus  Equifax - To order your report, 800-685-1111 - To report fraud, 800-525-6285  Experian - To order your report, 888-397-3742 - To report fraud, 888-680-7289  Transunion - To order your report, 800-888-4213 - To report fraud, 800-680-7289

23 Action Steps for Victims  Contact all creditors, by phone and in writing to inform them of the problem.  Call each one of the credit bureaus’ fraud units to report identify theft. - Ask to have a “fraud alert/victim impact” statement placed in your credit file asking that creditors call you before opening any new accounts.  Call social security administration & place a fraud alert on your name.  Alert your financial institution to flag your accounts and to contact you to confirm unusual activity.  Request a change of PIN and new password.

24 Action Steps for Victims (cont.)  Keep a log of all contacts and make copies of all documents.  Contact the social security administration’s fraud hotline: 1-800-269-0271  Contact the state office of the department of motor vehicles to see if another license was issued in your name. - If so, request a new license number and fill out the DMV’s complaint form to begin the fraud investigation process.

25 HOMEWORK For homework go to the following website and play three of the games (the link is on my website). Pick the games you are most interested in. When you get to pages with you score: print each one staple them together write your name on the front page hand it in for your homework score.


27 Sentinel Top Complaint Categories 1 January 1 – December 31, 2002 1 Percentages are based on the total number of Consumer Sentinel complaints (380,103) received between January 1 and December 31, 2002.

28 Total Identity Theft Records 1 by Calendar Year 1 Percentages are based on the total number of identity theft records by calendar year.

29 Identity Theft Complaints by Victim Age 1 January 1 – December 31, 2003 1 Percentages are based on 130,917 victims who provided their age. This Chart represents 94% of the victims who contacted the FTC directly. Law Enforcement Contact 2 January 1 – December 31, 2003 2 Percentages are based on the 131,746 victims who indicated whether they had notified a police department.

30 How Victims’ Information is Misused 1 Total Number of Identity Theft Victims = 161,819 January 1 – December 31, 2002 Credit Card Fraud: 42% Theft Subtypes Percent of All Victims New Accounts24.4% Existing Accounts12.1 Unspecified 5.4 Phone or Utilities Fraud: 22% Theft Subtypes Percent of All Victims Wireless – New10.5% Telephone – New 5.2 Utilities – New 3.0 Unauthorized Charges to existing Accounts 0.7 Unspecified 2.2 Bank Fraud: 17% Theft Subtypes Percent of All Victims Existing Accounts 8.1% New Accounts 3.7 Electronic Fund Transfer 3.1 Unspecified 2.0 Employment-Related Fraud: 9% Theft Subtypes Percent of All Victims Employment-Related Fraud 9.3% Government Documents or Benefits Fraud: 8% Theft Subtypes Percent of All Victims Driver’s License Issued/Forged 3.0% Fraudulent Tax Return 1.9 Social Security Card Issued/Forged 1.7 Gov’t Benefits Applied/Rec’d 0.8 Other Gov’t Docs Issued/Forged 0.3 Unspecified 0.1 Loan Fraud: 6% Theft Subtypes Percent of All Victims Personal/Business Loan 2.6% Auto Loan/Lease 2.1 Real Estate Loan 0.9 Unspecified 0.5 Attempted Identity Theft: 8% 1 Percentages are based on the 161,819 total victims reporting. Percentages add to more than 100 because approximately 22% of victims Reported experiencing more than one type of identity theft. All victims reported experiencing at least one type of identity theft.

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