Identity Theft 101

By: Christopher Lee

How, What, and Why?

Identity Theft occurs when someone takes your personal information for use without your allowance. This information can be used to strip a bank account of all assets and even use your personal information as an alias for someone else. They can otain this information through old credit card reciepts, check stubs, or any personal information.


What to do if You are a Victim

If you are a victim of Identity Theft these are the first three steps you should take as noted by the Federal Trade Commission.

  1. Place an initial fraud alert
  2. Order your credit reports
  3. Create an identity theft report

By following these three steps you are putting out an informative alert to let others know of your identity being stolen so that they can flag any places your identity has been used recently.


Turning Back the Hands of Theft

Resolving Identity Theft takes lots of work and several calls and letters to people and you need to keep track of these communications. One of the best ways is to organize a call list as well as who all you have sent letters and such information to so that you can make sure you are making progress in the battle against identity theft.


Shutting the Lock Before it's Gone

Protecting your personal information can help reduce your risk of identity theft. There are four main ways to do it: know who you share information with; store and dispose of your personal information securely, especially your Social Security number; ask questions before deciding to share your personal information; and maintain appropriate security on your computers and other electronic devices.

For more information reguarding Identity Theft go to the Federal Trade Commission's website at www.ftc.gov.