Protecting Identity after school Raquel Rosenbaum

Identity theft is a serious crime. It occurs when your personal information is stolen and used without your knowledge to commit fraud of other crimes. Identity theft can cost you time and money. It can destroy your credit and ruin your good name.

  • With more than 2.32 million victims thus far β€” 500,000 last year alone β€” medical identity theft is a crime on the rise. It can cause medical histories to get changed, and benefits fraudulently used by others can bar a victim from getting medical treatments – making it a dangerous crime.
  • It’s long been known that children in the foster care system were more likely to become the target of identity-related crimes. This was due to the fact that when children move in with a new foster family, their personally identifiable information moves with them.

1. Deter

  • Shred your financial documents and paperwork with personal information
  • Protect your Social Security number
  • Don't give out personal information on the phone, through the mail, or over the internet unless you know who you are dealing with
  • Don't use an obvious password like your birth date, your mother's maiden name, or the last four digits of your Social Security number

2. Detect

*Be alert to signs that require immediate attention:

  • Bills that do not arrive as expected
  • Unexpected credit cards or account statements
  • Denials of credit for no apparent reason
  • Calls or letters about purchases you did not make

3. Defend

  • Place a "Fraud Alert" on your credit reports, and review the reports carefully. (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion)
  • Close accounts-close any accounts that have been tampered with or established fraudulently
  • File a police report
  • Report the theft to the Federal Trade Commission

Sites for further information

http://blog.credit.com/2015/05/5-identity-theft-facts-that-will-terrify-you-116875/ - facts about identity theft

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2010/07/protect-your-identity/index.htm - how to protect against identity theft

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