Identity theft occurs when someone steals your personal information (e.g., credit card number or social security number) and uses it fraudulently. Identity fraud is one of the nation's fastest growing crimes. Although most people are aware of it, research shows that consumers and businesses are not taking the necessary steps to fully protect themselves. The best way to fight fraud is to prevent it.
Tips for Preventing Identity Theft
- If you suspect that you are a victim of identity theft, visit IdenityTheft.gov to report fraud and create a recovery plan.
- Keep track of your credit and debit cards. If they are lost or stolen, report it immediately.
- Never keep your personal identification number (PIN) on or near your card, and don’t share your PIN with anyone.
- Store personal information securely
- Don't give out personal information over the phone unless you have placed the call.
- Check monthly statements and report errors within 60 days.
- Never lend a debit or credit card to anyone.
- Shred any documents with your account number or personal identification information.
- When submitting payments through the internet, always check for the lock symbol or “https” on the menu bar.
- Check your credit report at least once per year.