Identity Theft

10 Ways to Avoid Fraud

Scam artists around the world defraud millions of people each year. They use the phone, postal mail, and the internet to trick people into sending money or giving out personal information. Read more.

Avoid ID Theft and Fraud in the New Health Insurance Marketplace

If you’re signing up for health insurance under the Affordable Health Care program, watch out for con artists who may ask for your money, your personal information, or both. Consumer Federation of America’s tips help you learn how to avoid scams.

Basic Response Steps For Victims of Identity Theft

New York State Department of State advises consumers to respond quickly if they suspect or know that they are a victim of identity theft. Responding quickly may minimize the damage.

Child Identity Theft

Your child’s personal information is protected by law. Find out how your child’s information is collected, stored and used. Ask schools and other organizations to safeguard your child’s information to help reduce your child’s risk of identity theft.

Consumer.gov

Information for people of different literacy levels and those who want practical, concise information. Read about credit, debt, identity theft, avoiding scams, budgeting, and managing money. This free material is available in English and Spanish.

Credit Freeze (GA)

A credit freeze can be a powerful weapon against identity theft.  When a freeze is in place, credit reporting agencies may not release your credit report or credit score unless the you first remove the freeze by providing a password. Read about Georgia's credit freeze law

Credit, ATM and Debit Cards: What to Do if They're Lost or Stolen (WI)

Many people find it easy and convenient to use credit cards and ATM or debit cards. The Fair Credit Billing Act and Electronic Fund Transfer Act offer procedures you can use if your cards are lost or stolen. Read more.

Disposal of Your Personal Records by a Business (GA)

Your personal information is important in every aspect of your life.  It's essential to be careful about sharing information, so it doesn't fall into the wrong hands. Georgia law regulates the proper disposal of business records that contain personal information.

Disposing of Old Computers

You can ensure the hard drive in your old computer won't get misused by identity thieves. Use a program to overwrite or wipe the hard drive, or remove the hard drive and physically destroy it. Read more

Extended Fraud Alerts and Credit Freezes

If you are a victim of identity theft and have created an Identity Theft Report, you may want to place an extended fraud alert or a credit freeze on your credit file. Read more about the differences between these options and steps to take.

File a Complaint with the FTC

The FTC is the nation’s consumer protection agency. If a business doesn’t make good on its promises or cheats you out of your money, the FTC wants to know.

Get Your Truly Free Credit Report (video)

Your credit report can affect your ability to get a loan or a job – and it can help you spot and stop identity theft. Find out how to order your credit report for free.

ID Theft Prevention Toolkit (IN)

Identity theft is a serious crime with serious costs for victims. Victims of identity theft may lose significant money and time attempting to correct their records. Consumers may also find their reputation and credit rating are damaged as a result. The Identity Theft Prevention Toolkit was designed by the Indiana Attorney General’s Office to not only assist victims through the process of correcting their records, but to assist consumers better protect their information.

 

Identity Theft & Data Breaches

The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (PRC) publishes in-depth guides on identity theft that cover how to reduce the risk of fraud, what to do if you become an identity theft victim, how to evaluate identity theft monitoring services, and more.

Identity Theft Protection Services

Identity theft protection services can help you monitor your accounts. Many people find it valuable and convenient to pay a company to monitor their financial accounts, credit reports, and personal information. Others choose to do this themselves for free. Before you pay for a service, evaluate it and its track record.

Identity Theft: Resources

Read, download, view, and order material about how to protect yourself from identity theft and what do if your identity is stolen.

IDTheftInfo.org

Consumer Federation of America's IDTheftInfo.org website is an easy-to-use gateway for information about identity theft from CFA and other good sources. You can take a quiz to test your ID theft savvy, learn how to protect yourself, and find information about what to do if you become an ID theft victim. Advice for businesses about data security is also provided. The “Latest News” section keeps you informed about identity theft-related issues and developments.

Malware

Malware (short for “malicious software") includes viruses and spyware that get installed on your computer, phone, or mobile device without your consent. Criminals use malware to steal personal information, send spam, and commit fraud. Read more

Medical Identity Theft

A thief may use your name or insurance information to get treatment in your name. You have the right to see your copies of your records and have mistakes corrected.

Medical Privacy

The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (PRC) publishes in-depth guides on medical privacy laws and practical tips on safeguarding your information. Learn about HIPAA (the federal medical privacy law), electronic medical records, how your information is shared among health providers, and more.

Misused Checking Accounts

If a thief steals your checks, uses the account number from your checks, or opens a new account in your name, contact your bank or financial institution as soon as possible. Learn more

Online Privacy & Technology

The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (PRC) publishes in-depth guides on technology and your privacy. Learn how to secure your computer, privacy tips for using social networking sites, what information your smartphone gathers and shares, and more.

Phishing, Vishing, Smishing – Don’t Take the Bait! (WI)

Fraudsters use email, voicemail, and text messages to try and capture your personal information.  Watch for warning signs and protect your personal information.

Privacy When You Shop

The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (PRC) publishes in-depth guides on how to protect your privacy when you shop. Learn what information you should give to merchants, how to shop online safely, the differences among payment methods, and more.

Protecting Kids Privacy

The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) helps you protect your children's privacy. COPPA requires websites to get parental consent before they collect or share information from children under age 13.

Protecting Your Computer from Hackers (WI)

Follow these simple steps to help prevent hackers from taking over your computer and personal information.

Protecting Your Privacy

The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (PRC) publishes in-depth guides on financial privacy laws and practical tips on safeguarding your information. Learn how to read your bank's opt-out notices, the dangers of using debit cards, the laws requiring banks to confirm your identity, and more.

Sharing Information: A Day in Your Life (Video)

Everyday activities like using a savings card at the grocery store or a social networking app on your phone may give businesses access to information about your habits, tastes, and activities. Where does that information go and how is it used?

Shopping Online

For hassle-free online shopping, get the details about what you're buying, pay by credit card, keep records, and protect your personal and financial information.

Signs of Identity Theft

Learn the signs of identity theft. If you think someone is misusing your personal information, act quickly to limit the damage. Setting things straight involves some work.

Slam the Door on Phishing

Read Consumer Federation of America’s tips and watch the funny video to learn how to protect yourself from identity thieves that try to trick you into providing your personal information.

Spam…It’s Junk Email & Texts (WI)

Often spam is promoting get rich quick schemes and questionable products. Common scams are chain letters, work at home schemes, weight loss potions, credit repair offers, advance fee loans, vacation offers, and adult entertainment. Read more

Texting Spam – “Smishing” (WI)

With the growing popularity of texting, phishers are using it as another means to gather consumers' personal information. This is known as “smishing.”

Things to Check When Shopping for Identity theft Services

If you’re interesting in buying an identity theft service, how can you tell whether it’s worth the cost? Consumer Federation of America’s tips help you learn what to look for – and what to watch out for.

Using Public Wi-Fi Networks

Wi-Fi hotspots in coffee shops, libraries, airports, hotels, universities, and other public places are convenient, but are often not secure. When using a hotspot, it’s best to send information only to websites that are fully encrypted.

What if You're a Victim of Identity Theft? (Video)

If your identity is stolen, there are three important steps to can take to minimize the damage.

What is Identity Theft? (Video)

Identity theft affects millions of people each year. Learn how to protect yourself from identity thieves as part of your daily routine. Watch the video

Wisconsin Office of Privacy Protection

The Office of Privacy Protection teaches Wisconsin consumers, businesses, and law enforcement agencies about identity theft and fraud prevention. The Office helps victims of identity theft take steps to reclaim their identity and restore their credit standing.

“Phishing” and Other Online ID Theft Scams

Criminals steal usernames and passwords, get sensitive information, and sell risky securities. Learn how to spot some of the latest online scams and what to do about them.

“Secure Your ID” Day

The BBB's "Secure Your ID" Day is a great way for consumers and small businesses to take a key step in identity protection. Last year the BBB helped people shred 1.3 million pounds of paper with sensitive information. The next "Secure Your ID" Day event is scheduled for April 20, 2013.