Identity Theft involves acquiring key pieces of someone’s identifying information, such as name, address, date of birth, social security number, or mother’s maiden name, in order to impersonate them. This information enables the identity thief to commit numerous forms of fraud which include, but are not limited to, taking over the victim's financial accounts, opening new bank accounts, purchasing automobiles, applying for loans, credit cards and social security benefits, renting apartments, and establishing services with utility and phone companies. For more information, go to Identity Theft Council.
How Identity Theft Occurs
Change of address forms that can be completed by a thief with your information
Personal data retrieved from trash cans
Personal information that is either bought or stolen from inside sources, such as the internet
Theft of mail, especially bank and credit card statements and pre-approved credit applications
Theft of purse or wallet containing ID, credit and bank cards
Internet Privacy Issues
Use caution when disclosing any personal information at any website or online service location unless you receive a secured authentication key from your provider.
When you subscribe to an online service, you may be asked to give credit card information. When you enter any interactive service site, beware of con artists who may ask you to “confirm” your enrollment service by disclosing passwords or the credit card account number used to subscribe. Don’t give them out.