What is ID theft?
Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in the U.S. and abroad. It typically involves the theft of personal information — such as a person’s full name, date of birth, Social Security number, or banking information — which can be used to commit fraud.
How can identity thieves get my information?
- Going through your mail
- Rummaging through your trash
- Stealing your wallet, credit cards, and ID
- Hacking into your devices
- Collecting your information through fraudulent scams
How can I reduce my risk of becoming a victim of ID theft?
- Keep your personal information in a secure location
- Shred documents containing personal information
- Protect your mail
- Cancel unused credit cards
- Review your credit report annually
- Never respond to email from strangers
- Don’t download suspicious files or click on links to unfamiliar websites
- Don’t send sensitive personal information over the internet
- Don’t store financial information on your computer
I’m a victim of a major data breach. What should I do to prevent fake accounts from being opened in my name?
Contact your credit bureaus to place a fraud alert on your accounts and request a security freeze. A fraud alert requires the credit bureaus to contact you before a lender tries to open an account in your name, and a security freeze prevents them from sharing your information with anyone who may be requesting it without your knowledge.