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What is Identity Theft?
Identity theft is a federal crime. It occurs when someone uses your personal information, without your knowledge or permission, for financial or other gain.
One of the fastest growing crimes in America, the Bureau of Justice statistics estimates that identity theft victimized close to 17 million people in 2012 alone. It has topped the U.S. Federal Trade Commission's ranking of consumer complaints for 15 years. Prime targets include children, college students, military members, veterans and seniors - but it can happen to anyone at any time.
Typical identity theft involves a thief stealing away your personal information to pose as you in some way. A newer and growing variety is called synthetic identity theft. In synthetic identity theft, your personal information is combined with fake data to create a brand new, bogus identity. A thief may combine your social security number with a different name or other fake credentials. Synthetic identity theft can be harder to detect, which can lead to more damage.
While no one is safe from identity theft, there are steps you can take to lower your risks. Click on any of the links below for more information.
The personal information thieves can use to steal your identity includes your...
- Full name
- Address (home or other)
- Phone number
- Date of birth
- Social Security number
- Driver's license number
- Passport number
- Email address
- Screen or user names
- Passwords and PINs
- Health Plan Information
- Geolocation information
- Credit and debit card numbers
- Financial account numbers or information
- Photos, videos, or audio files
- Information that provides access to the
items listed above
Helpful Websites for Identity Theft Resources
The Better Business Bureau - www.bbb.org
The Federal Trade Commissions - www.consumer.ftc.gov
The Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force - www.stopfraud.gov
Internal Revenue Service - www.irs.gov/individuals/identity-protection
The Internet Crime Complaint Center - www.ic3.gov
National Cyber Security Alliance - www.staysafeonline.org
U.S. Department of Homeland Security - www.dhs.gov
U.S. Government's Online Safety Site - www.onguardonline.gov
Lost VISA Debit Card: 1-800-472-3272, then call us at 423-547-1200
Lost VISA Credit Card: 1-800-558-3424, then call us at 423-547-1200
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