Identity theft is the act of assuming someone else's identity through name, social security number, and other information to utilize for financial gain. Often the criminal, utilizing the victims identity, will use credit cards or other financial resources to fund their lifestyle, while simultaneously destroying the victims credit history.
What can you do to protect yourself from Identity Theft?
- Be careful to whom you give out personal and confidential information, inquire to how it will be used, and if they will share the information.
- Properly destroy all documents containing confidential information before disposing of it in the trash. Often victims information is retrieved from dumpsites and trash bins.
- Document and keep in a safe place, credit card information and customer service phone numbers, in case of theft, thereby giving you the ability to quickly cancel the accounts.
- And most importantly, monitor all of your accounts. Finding a problem early, will often limit your liability.
To report Identity Theft, you should contact these agencies
FTC's ID Theft Hotline
Credit Bureau Hotlines
Equifax - 1-800-525-6285
Experian - 1-888-397-3742
Transunion - 1-800-680-7289