What is identity theft?
How can someone steal your identity? Identity
theft occurs when someone uses your personal information such as your name,
Social Security number, credit card number or other identifying information,
without your permission, to commit fraud or other crimes.
What would the thieves do with my name and other information
Typical examples of uses that criminals have for your
personal information and identity are:
to apply for credit cards in your name, and run up a bill
to create fake driver's licenses, green cards, passports
and other forms of identification for illegal aliens, using their photograph
with your name, address and other information
to apply for government benefits, like social security,
taking benefits in your name
to apply for loans and mortgages in your name.
What are the consequences to me?
Identity theft is a serious crime. People
whose identities have been stolen can spend months or years - and their
hard-earned money - cleaning up the mess thieves have made of their good name
and credit record. In the meantime, victims may lose job opportunities, be
refused loans, mortgages, education, housing or cars, or even get arrested for crimes they
What can I do to PREVENT theft of my identity?
See this page
for a comprehensive checklist of steps to take to protect your identity
from identity theft.
What should I do if I think my identity has been stolen or compromised?
If you think your identity has been stolen,
here's what to do now:
here for the complete list of steps to take.