Official Government Website

Identity Theft

Identity theft happens when a criminal uses your personal information (name, address, birthday, social security number, and other identifying information) to pretend to be you. The criminal may make purchases, create false documents, or commit other crimes using your data.



Top 4 Ways to Protect Your Identity

  • Be smart! Do not give out personal or financial information without verifying the source of the request. Scammers attempt to “phish” for your information by pretending to be banks, stores, or other entities. Do not provide such information online unless you are confident of the source.
  • Monitor your financial statements and credit reports regularly. Review your credit reports for any suspicious activities—at least annually. Check your monthly bills and bank statements for accuracy.
  • Keep your identity from being stolen from your trash. Shred papers with personal information before you throw them away—especially credit card offers and “convenience checks.”
  • Place a fraud alert on your credit report if you think your identity has been stolen. Immediately contact the fraud departments of any of three consumer reporting companies.
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