During the past decade, the increase in the number of identity thefts has become a more prominent issue in the lives of Americans. To combat this growing problem, both private and public agencies have stepped forward to find effective solutions: Congress has made identity theft a federal crime; a presidential task force has tackled the subject to provide more effective venues for reporting and prosecuting identity theft; numerous government agencies have made identity theft resource information available to consumers; and the three credit bureaus — Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion — have developed products to help consumers protect themselves against identity theft and make the process of protecting financial information easier.
What constitutes your financial identity?
Learning what constitutes your financial identity is a new concept for most of us. Your name, address, phone number, social security number, bank account information, credit card account numbers, online user names and passwords, and answers to security questions such as your mother’s maiden name are all components of your private information which can be used by an identity thief.
It’s essential to take steps to protect yourself against identity fraud. Keeping your personal records secure — including hard copies of bank and credit card statements, checks, mail, and private documents — is vital whether you’re dealing with people or companies by phone, mail, or online.
Helpful identity theft articles
The identity theft content on this website will help you learn:
You’ll also find helpful articles about online and government resources available to consumers to educate them about the identity theft problem in the U.S. and how to best safeguard your private information.
Knowing how to protect yourself from this serious crime and reporting any suspicious activity will help to ensure that you won’t be an identity theft victim.
Identity theft is a federal crime in which thieves steal highly sensitive personal and financial information such as your social security number, bank or credit card information, and user names and passwords stored on your computer. They use this information to open bank, loan, and credit card accounts in your name for their personal use and financial gain.
If you’re an avid online shopper, order merchandise through the mail, or send credit card and loan payments by mail, you may be at risk for identity theft; but there are many ways to avoid becoming a victim. From shredding bank and credit card statements and personal information, to carrying only essential identification and credit cards in your wallet, here are some simple ways to protect yourself from identity theft:
As cases of identity theft continue to rise, reporting the crime quickly is a major factor in stemming any damage to your credit. By arming yourself with the knowledge of how to report identity theft, you can protect yourself as much as possible from the effects of this serious criminal offense.
The three credit reporting agencies — Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion — can be great assets in helping consumers prevent identity theft or dealing with the consequences of an identity theft crime.
As consumers increase their use of the Internet for banking, shopping, and other activities which require submitting personal information online, cases of identity theft are also on the rise. There are several ways thieves can steal an identity, and these are not necessarily limited to the digital world.
If your identity has been stolen and used by an identity thief, you now face the daunting task of restoring your credit history. Fortunately, there are several tools available to help you recover your good credit rating as quickly as possible.
Most people are aware that identity theft has become a major issue in American life, but few know precisely how an identity thief steals your personal information. Identity theft occurs when someone gains access to your personal information then uses the data for their own financial gain.
In an effort to battle this serious crime, President Bush called on government agencies to develop a coordinated approach to fighting identity theft. The result was the formation of the President’s Task Force on Identity Theft.
Americans are becoming more aware of the need to protect their private financial information against identity theft. To do this, they can choose from a variety of resources which educate the public about the crime and help them protect their identities, report identity theft activity, or recover from having their identities stolen.
If you become aware of unexplained charges on your bank or credit card statements, or have noticed unauthorized activity or new accounts when reviewing your credit report, you may well be the victim of identity theft. If this is the case, it’s imperative that you take immediate action to prevent further financial damage to your accounts and credit rating.
It’s an unfortunate fact that identity theft is on the rise in America. But for those who want to learn more about this crime to protect themselves from becoming victims, there are many government resources available on the Internet that provide details and guidance to consumers on every aspect of identity theft.