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Deter, Detect, Defend: The FTC’s Program on Identity Theft.

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Presentation on theme: "Deter, Detect, Defend: The FTC’s Program on Identity Theft."— Presentation transcript:

1 Deter, Detect, Defend: The FTC’s Program on Identity Theft

2 What is Identity Theft? u When someone else uses your personally identifying information without your knowledge or permission to  Obtain Credit Cards  Get Wireless or phone products, services  Get Loans and Mortgages  Obtain Employment  Avoid Criminal Penalties  Commit Other Frauds or Crimes

3 What Kind of Information Does an Identity Thief Need? u Identity thieves use:  Social Security Number  Name and Address  Date of Birth  Mother’s Maiden Name  Driver’s License  Credit Card, Bank and other Account Numbers

4 Consequences of Identity Theft u Identity thief seldom pays bills for debts incurred under your name u You may not discover for months or years u You are saddled with bad credit report u Due to bad credit report, you may be denied or charged higher rates for new credit, loans, mortgages, utility service, or employment u If criminal record created in your name, you may fail background checks for employment, firearms, etc., may even spend time in jail

5 Students Are a Vulnerable Group u Developing financial identity u Targeted age category by ID thieves

6 Protecting Yourself Information Source How Thieves Work Protecting Yourself Your wallet u Theft u Skimming u Carry minimum ID information on you u don’t carry SSN card u change health ins. #, if possible u Change driver’s license u Pay attention to card access devices You u “Phishing” Scams u Social Engineering u Theft u Don’t give out info. to uninitiated contacts u Secure your info. in your home and workplace from others

7 Protecting Yourself Information Source How Thieves Work Protecting Yourself MailTheft u Use locked mailbox u Pick up mail promptly, stop delivery on vacations u Use postal mailboxes for outgoing mail Trash“Dumpster Diving” u Shred personal information u 1-888-5-OPTOUT

8 Protecting Yourself Information Source How Thieves Work Protecting Yourself Companies or institutions where you’re a customer, employee, patient, student, etc. u Theft u Bribery u Inside corruption u Pretexting u Dumpster Diving u Ask about information security procedures in your workplace and businesses where you’re a client or customer u Minimize the use of your SSN u Put strong passwords on your accounts Public recordsMost likely find information posted online ?

9 Personal Computer Security  Keep your anti-virus and anti-spyware software updated  Use a firewall  Set up security protocols properly if file sharing or using Wi-fi  Use a delete program to wipe your hard drive before getting rid of your old computer  Visit for more tips.

10 Know what to do if your information gets lost or stolen u SSNs – place a fraud alert, check credit reports u Existing accounts – close and open new ones, place strong passwords u Driver’s license, etc. – contact issuing agency

11 How Can You Tell if You’re a Victim? u Check credit reports – or u Monitor financial accounts u Failure to receive bills or other mail signaling theft or an address change by the identity thief u Receiving credit cards for which you did not apply u Denial of credit, or offer of poor credit terms such as high interest rate, for no apparent reason u Receiving calls or letters from debt collectors or businesses about merchandise or services you did not buy


13 What Should Victims Do? u Immediately:  Call fraud lines of CRAs and get fraud alerts placed on credit reports; review your free credit report for inaccuracies  Close affected accounts: Contact creditors’ fraud departments, ask if they accept IDT Affidavit, if not, ask for their fraud forms  File a complaint with FTC, take complaint to police  Report to local police, get copy of report

14 Protections for Victims u Know your legal rights  Fair Credit Reporting Act  Fair Debt Collection Practices Act  The Truth in Lending Act  The Electronic Fund Transfer Act u Contact state or federal agencies if you need additional help with specific problems

15 Credit Report Clean-Up If Victim Provides CRAs with Identity Theft Report: u CRAs will block the inaccurate information on victim’s credit report resulting from identity theft u When victim’s credit report is sent out, it will be correct

16 Filing a Complaint with the FTC File online at or by calling  Get helpful information  Use complaint to get an identity theft report from the police  Report law violations by companies  Helps law enforcement  Informs FTC of problem trends

17 Resources u u u 1-877-ID THEFT (438-4338) u Deter, Detect, Defend: Avoid ID Theft and Take Charge: Fighting Back Against ID Theft u ID Theft Affidavit

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