identity_theftIdentity theft involves the unlawful acquisition and use of someone’s identifying information, such as:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Date of Birth
  • Social Security number
  • Mother’s Maiden Name
  • Drivers License
  • Credit Union, Bank, or Credit Card Account Number

Thieves then use the information to repeatedly commit fraud in an attempt to duplicate your identity which may include opening new accounts, purchasing vehicles, applying for loans, credit cards, and Social Security benefits, renting apartments and establishing services with utility and telephone companies. It can have a negative effect on your credit and create a serious financial hassle for you.

To protect yourself from becoming a victim of identity theft, you can do the following:

  • Report lost or stolen checks or credit cards immediately
  • Never give out any personal information including your date of birth, Social Security number, or passwords
  • Shred all documents containing personal information such as bank statements, unused checks, deposit slips, credit card statements, pay stubs, medical bills, and invoices
  • Don’t give any of your personal information to websites that do not use encryption or other secure methods to protect it