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Identity Theft consumer.gov. What is identity theft? When someone uses information about you without your permission. The information can be your: – Name.

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Presentation on theme: "Identity Theft consumer.gov. What is identity theft? When someone uses information about you without your permission. The information can be your: – Name."— Presentation transcript:

1 Identity Theft consumer.gov

2 What is identity theft? When someone uses information about you without your permission. The information can be your: – Name and address – Credit card or bank account numbers – Social Security number – Medical insurance account numbers

3 What can a thief do with your information? Buy things with your credit cards Get new credit cards Open a phone, electricity or gas account Steal your tax refund Get medical care Pretend to be you if they are arrested

4 Why should you care if someone steals your identity? You will be responsible for what the thief does while using your personal information. This is true even if you do not know about the bills. Identity theft can hurt your credit.

5 How do you know if someone steals your identity? Read your bills. Watch for your bank account statement. Check your mail. Get your credit report.

6 How to get your credit report Only one place to get your free report: Annual Credit Report Call Go to You get one free report a year from each credit reporting company.

7 You got your report. Now what? Does your report have the right information? Do you recognize the accounts listed? Look at the Inquiries section to see who has checked your credit.

8 Can you protect yourself from identity theft? You can lower your risk. Protect your information: – At home – When you shop or do other business – Online

9 How can you protect your personal information at home? Keep financial records, Social Security card, and health insurance information in a safe place. Shred papers with personal information. Take mail out of your mailbox every day.

10 How can you protect your personal information when you shop? When you shop in a store: – Watch your wallet. – Be careful with your credit and debit cards. – Do not tell anyone your PIN.

11 How can you protect your personal information when you shop? When you shop online: – Use passwords that are hard for someone to guess. – Do not respond to s or other messages that ask for personal information. – Do not put personal information on a computer in a public place, like the library or a coffee shop. – Shop on secure websites.

12 How can you protect your information with other businesses? Only give your Social Security number if you must. Ask if you can use another kind of identification. Do not give your personal information to someone who calls you or s you.

13 What if someone steals your identity? Act fast. Take three steps immediately: 1. Place a fraud alert on your credit reports. 2. Order copies of your credit reports 3. Create an Identity Theft Report.

14 What if someone steals your identity? Step 1: Place a fraud alert on your three credit reports. How? Call any one of the three credit reporting companies. That company must tell the other two. – Equifax – Experian – Transunion

15 What if someone steals your identity? Step 2: Order your credit reports. You must call all three of the credit reporting companies to get your credit reports. Identity theft victims can get the reports for free.

16 What if someone steals your identity? Step 2, continued: Order your credit reports. Fix any mistakes in the reports. – Call the company with affected accounts and explain – Follow up with a letter – Include proof, if you have it

17 What if someone steals your identity? Step 3: Create an Identity Theft Report Submit a complaint to the FTC – or ftc.gov/complaintftc.gov/complaint File a police report. – Take your FTC complaint to the police station – Get a copy of the police report or the number of the police report

18 Avoiding Identity Theft consumer.gov


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