Identity Crimes defined
misuse of personal financial identifiers in order to gain something of value
and/or facilitate other criminal activity.
Identity Crimes often begin with other crimes such as having your wallet or
purse stolen, robbery, mail theft, computer intrusions, dumpster diving,
skimmers and fishing.
- Dumpster diving is defined as rummaging through home
trash, business trash or dump sites to obtain personal information.
- Skimming is defined as using an electronic device which can read
magnetic strips on the back of credit/debit cards to retrieve personal
- Fishing is a practice of getting personal information under false
pretenses (phony surveys).
Types of Identity Crimes
- Identity Theft
- Check Fraud
- Credit Card Fraud
- False Identification crimes
(using false name while under arrest)
- Bank Fraud
Personal Information that is stolen includes:
- Name, date of birth, address, phone number
- Social Security Number
- Driver's License number, passport or visa numbers
- Passwords (mother's maiden name, pet names, etc)
- Financial information: Credit cards, Bank Account numbers, PIN
numbers, Insurance account numbers.
- Use caution when disclosing personal or
- Use a shredder on all documents and mail
- Check your credit at least once a year
- Look carefully at your billing statements
- Opt out of pre-approved credit offers
- Pick up new checks at the bank
- Limit personal information on checks
- Don't leave outgoing checks or bills in your mailbox
- Be internet smart, order only from trusted sites
- When possible use a 3rd party payment service, such as "PayPal".
If you Become a VICTIM
- Report it quickly to your local Police Department
- Notify credit bureaus-Fraud Dept
- Notify your Bank
- Notify the Federal Trade Commission
- Keep records of everything (bills, who you talk to, police reports, date
- Notify your Drivers License bureau
- Notify passport offices
- Contact utilities offices
Useful Links for Further Information
Federal Trade Commission
Identity Theft Resource Center
U.S. Department of Justice