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Preventing Identity Theft

Identity theft is the act of using someone’s personal information without their knowledge or permission. Criminals steal Social Security Numbers, driver’s licenses, credit and debit card numbers and other pieces of an individual’s identity, such as their date of birth. They use this information to impersonate their victim and spend as much money as they can rapidly before moving on to another person’s name and identifying information.
There are two main types of identity theft:
⇒ “Existing Account Fraud” or “Account Takeover Fraud” occurs when a thief acquires your credit or debit card information and purchases products and services using either the actual card or the account number and expiration date.
⇒ “New Account Fraud” or “Application Fraud” occurs when a thief uses your Social Security Number and other identifying information to open new accounts in your name.
Identity Theft Facts
1. 90% of data compromise in identity theft cases takes place through traditional offline channels and not via the Internet.
2. Lost or stolen wallets, checkbooks or credit cards continue to be the primary source (30%) of personal information theft.
3. Almost half (47%) of all identity theft is perpetrated by friends, neighbors, family members or relatives.
Protect Yourself
1. Reduce the number of debit and credit cards you carry and do not carry your Social Security card around.
2. Never give out your Social Security Number, credit or debit card number or other personal information over the phone, by mail, or on the Internet unless you have a trusted business relationship with the company.
3. Protect your Social Security Number and release it only when absolutely necessary. Your Social Security Number is the prime target of criminals.
4. When shopping online, do business with companies that provide transaction security protection.
5. Review your credit report periodically to make sure the information
is being correct. For a free
copy of your report, go to:
For More Information:
For more information on how to keep your personal information safe, as well ways to protect yourself from various privacy related scams, go to