Protecting your identity
A person commits the crime of identity theft if, without the authorization, consent, or permission of the victim, and with the intent to defraud for his or her own benefit or the benefit of a third person, he or she does any of the following:
Obtains, records, or accesses identifying information that would assist in accessing financial resources, obtaining identification documents, or obtaining benefits of the victim.
Obtains goods or services through the use of identifying information of the victim.
Obtains identification documents in the victim's name.
Obtains employment through the use of identifying information of the victim.
- Visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website, www.ftc.gov/idtheft to learn how personal information is stolen and what you can do to protect yours, monitor your personal information to discover problems quickly, and know what to do when you suspect your identity has been stolen.
- By monitoring your account statements each month and checking your credit report on a regular basis you may be able to limit the damage caused by identity theft. The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. The three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies are: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. To order, visit www.annualcreditreport.com.
- Sometimes identity thieves pretend to be from financial institutions or credit or service providers you may deal with regularly. They do this as a means to obtain your personal information directly from you. If you did not initiate the contact don’t give out information such as your Social Security number, date of birth, account numbers, debit card number, online account access credentials via e-mail, instant messaging, telephone calls, or text messages.
- Be skeptical of e-mail messages or pop-up messages requesting your personal information
- Protect your purse or wallet at all times, and store personal information in secure locations.
- Shred bank, mortgage, credit card, physician, etc., statements before throwing away to prevent unauthorized access to your personal and account information.
- When mailing items that contain your personal or account information use the U.S. Postal boxes rather than your personal mail box for pick-up.
- Don't share online credentials with others and store this information somewhere inaccessible by unauthorized users.