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What is Identity Theft?

Identity theft: when your personal information is stolen and used illegally, to open accounts in your name. According to the Federal Trade Commission, identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in America.

What techniques are being used to steal personal information?

Phishing and spoof. Impersonating a well-known organization through fraudulent (phishing) emails and spoof websites. Examining garbage. Scavenging through trash bins to find old bank statements or other documents with personal information. In person. Eavesdropping or spying on people during financial transactions. Hacking. Breaking into computer databases and retrieving information.

If you get an email that may be fraudulent, alert your bank or simply delete it. Most banks allow you to shop without sharing your bank or credit card account numbers with the merchant. Banks also deploy fraud prevention technology that monitors transactions for suspicious activity.

Financial institutions work with law enforcement to assist in apprehending and prosecuting fraudsters and to identity thieves. Read your bank or credit unions FAQs and security information pages to learn how they are protecting your personal information and how they are working to help stop cybercrime incidents.

Be Smart, Be Safe Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft.

See other posts on the OSA Blog for information on:
How to protect yourself from identity theft.
Get tips on Preventing Identity Theft.
Learn what to do if you believe your information may have been stolen with Fighting Identity Theft.

See Also:

* Protect Yourself Identity Theft

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