Think you might be a victim of identity theft? Read our step by step guide to learn what steps to start taking to help you recover from identity theft.
Identity theft is a term which refers to the illegal use of an individual's personal data. This can mean anything from the use of another person's credit card number to the creation of a new account in another person's name. Some things to remember when it comes to releasing your information to others:
- Don't ever give any personal identification to strangers. NEVER give anybody your social security number. Only carry your social security card when it is absolutely necessary.
- Don't respond to emails that ask you for any financial information.
- Keep track of your wallet, credit cards, and card numbers. Don't ever leave them in a place where their safety can be compromised.
- Sometimes credit card companies will send you a pre-approved card in the mail. Don't just throw this away- make sure you cut it up or shred it! Somebody can fill out the information in your name. Make sure you also shred any documents that contain financial information.
Potential warning signs for identity theft include:
- Bills not arriving on time.
- Credit card information (such as statements or bills) for cards that you don't use.
- Credit being denied for no apparent reason.
- Information (such as bills or receipts) for things that you did not purchase.
- Learn more about Identity Theft & Protection from the Federal Trade Commission.
- Federal Trade Commission's website for consumers on tips to prevent identity theft: Fighting Back Against Identity Theft
- Play online identity theft simulation games like Identity Theft Face Off to learn more about how to bounce back from identity theft.