Identity Theft

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					 Identity Theft:Crime of the 21st

It could happen to you!
 Identity theft occurs when someone
  wrongfully uses your personal information
  to obtain credit, loans, services,rentals,
  and mortgages in your name. They may
  even commit crimes while impersonating
 Many victims of identity theft feel that they
  have been personally violated. They may
  not even know they are a victim until years
 Anyone can be a victim no matter how
  well you protect your personal
    In January of 2007 the Federal Trade
    Commission-Consumer Sentinel released a
    report indicating that identity theft has has
    stayed about the same for the last three years.
    In fact in some instances it was slightly lower.
 In 2006 the FTC received over 670,000 consumer
  fraud and identity theft complaints.
 Consumers reported losses from fraud of more
  than $1.1 billion in 2006
 Recent studies show that most of the identity
  theft and frauds are from someone the victim is
  familiar with (47%).
 Child identity theft is also on the rise. The
  persons committing these crimes are close family
  members, such as the parents or grandparents.
                More Facts
 Credit card fraud (25%) was the most common
  form of reported identity theft, followed by phone
  or utility fraud (16%), bank fraud (16%), and
  employment fraud (14%). Other significant frauds
  were government/benefits fraud (10%) and loan
  fraud (5%).
 Electronic fund transfer-related ID theft continues
  to be the most frequently reported type of ID theft
  bank fraud during 2006.
 ID theft decreased by 1% in 2006 while other
  frauds increased by 3% in the same period.
    Where Does Missouri & Illinois

 Missouri is ranked at #21 and Illinois is
  ranked #12 for most ID thefts.
 Missouri is ranked # 23 and Illinois is ranked
  #39 for other frauds in the United States per
  victim by state in 2006.
 These numbers are from victims and law
  enforcement agencies reporting ID theft and
  frauds to the Federal Trade Commission.
      Sentinel Top Complaint Categories January 1 – December 31, 2006
      Percentages are based on the total number of Sentinel complaints
                    (674,354) received by the FTC in 2006.

Rank Top Categories Complaints Percentage1
 1 Identity Theft 36%
 2 Shop-at-Home/Catalog Sales 7%
 3 Prizes/Sweepstakes and Lotteries 7%
 4 Internet Services and Computer Complaints 6%
 5 Internet Auctions 5%
 6 Foreign Money Offers 3%
 7 Advance-Fee Loans and Credit
  Protection/Repair 2%
 8 Magazines and Buyers Clubs 1%
       Complaint Stats cont’d.
   9 Telephone Services 1%
   10 Health Care 1%
   11 Business Opps and Work-at-Home Plans 1%
   12 Travel, Vacations and Timeshare 1%
   13 Office Supplies and Services 1%
   14 Grants: Scholarships/Educational & Non-
    Educational 1%
   15 Employment Agencies/Job Counsel/Overseas
    Work 1%
   16 Investments 1%
   Other Coded Complaints 2%
        How Identity Fraud is
 “Dumpster Diving”-going through your trash
 “Shoulder Surfing”-looking over your shoulder
 Stealing wallets and/or purses with your
 Pre-approved credit card applications by mail
 Theft of your mail
 Employee theft of your information
 On-line scams (phishing)
 Telephone scams (vishing)
 Impersonating a government, bank, creditor or
  other company official.
Phishing or Vishing,what’s
Phishing is when someone attempts to gain
personal information from you on a computer.
The website or E-mail looks like it is from your
financial institution, on-line auction company,
creditor, or some other company that you do
business with. They may indicate there has
been a security breach or they are updating
their information. If you do not reply
immediately they will cancel your account or
you are may be penalized for not acting on
this. The companies that you do business with
will never ask you this information.
    Phishing or Vishing cont’d.
 Vishing is similar to phishing except it is
  by telephone. They claim to be someone
  that you do business with, telephone
  company, or a government official. Again,
  they ask you for you personal information.
 They use a device that will even give your
  caller ID the correct business name or
  phone number that they are calling from.
  This is called caller ID spoofing in hopes
  that you believe to whom they say they
          Types of Frauds
 Canadian or foreign lottery winner
 Advanced Fee loans and credit protection repair
 Employment agencies/job counsel/overseas work
 Money order/cashier check scams
 Secret shopper scams
 Investment scams/Ponzi scheme
 Pyramid scams
 Foreign inheritance or money scams
 On-line auction scams
    Identity Theft Prevention
   Purchase a cross-cut/confetti paper shredder.
   Always cover or block your calling card numbers, ATM pin
    numbers, etc.
   Never carry social security cards or pin numbers in your
    wallet or purse.
   Only carry the credit cards and identification that you need
    at that time.
   Always shred junk mail that may have your personal
    information such as pre-approved credit applications and
    mail order catalog order forms.
   Never give your personal information over the telephone
    unless you know the person or you initiate the call.
    Prevention Tips Continued

   Never mail checks or personal information from your home
    mail box. Take the mail to the post office or a U.S. mailbox.
   Never put phone or social security numbers on personal
   Do not use your social security number for your driver’s
    license number or medical cards.
   When using a computer always have updated virus
    protection, firewall, and anti-spy ware software installed
    and active.
   Do not respond to E-mail spam informing you to click this
    address if you do not want any more E-mails
   Use the Opt-out plans for junk mail and phone solicitation.
   Always keep personal information secure in your home.
   Have an unlisted phone number
     What if You are a Victim?

 Always keep good records of transactions and
  immediately check all credit card and bank statements
  for errors or fraudulent entries.
 Report the crime of fraud or identity theft as soon as
  possible to the local authorities.
 Immediately contact your credit card companies,
  financial institutions, driver’s license office, credit
  bureaus, and check approval agencies.
 Place a fraud alert with these institutions and
    Stopping your information flow.

 Contact the credit bureaus and put a 90
  day fraud alert on them or a 7-year alert if
  you are a victim of ID theft and have a
  police report.
 Use the Opt-Out option with the credit
 Place your phone number on the no-call
  list, cell phones are not allowed.
 Talk with your state and federal political
  representatives on placing stricter laws
  for ID theft and freeze laws on your credit.
      Credit Bureau Fraud Alerts
Equifax fraud division
  P.O. Box 740250
  Atlanta, GA 30374
Experian fraud division
  P.O. Box 1017
  Allen, TX 75013
Trans Union fraud division
  P.O. Box 6790
  Fullerton, CA 92634
Are you a victim of check fraud? Call these
       agencies to report the fraud.

         CheckRite (800) 638-4600
        CrossCheck (707) 586-0551
       Certegy, Inc. (800) 770-3792
  National Processing Co. (800) 526-5380
           SCAN (800) 262-7771
         TeleCheck (800) 710-9898
    Other agencies to notify

 U.S. Postal Inspection Service
 Social Security Administration
 U.S. Secret Service
 F.T.C./Consumer Sentinel
          Opt-Out Agencies
   Missouri’s No Call List 1-866-662-2551
   National Do Not Call Registry 1-888-382-1222
   Direct Marketing Association
    mail Preference Service
    P.O. Box 643
    Carmel, NY 10512
    1 888 5OPT OUT (1 888 567 8688)
      Free Credit Reports
 Consumers are entitled to one free credit
  report and two reports if you are an ID
  theft victim each year using a Web site at
 The toll free number consumers can call is
 Written requests can be sent to Annual
  Credit Report Request Service, P. O. Box
  105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.
         Identity Theft Review
 Use common sense when dealing with your
  personal information. Know who you are giving it
 Always check all of the credit bureaus at least
  once a year. If you are a victim, at least twice a
 Review you credit card and bank statements
  regularly. Report any discrepancies immediately.
 Thank You and remember, only you can reduce
  your risk of Identity theft.