Identity Theft

Identity theft is when someone uses information about you without permission.

If a thief gets your identity information they can use your credit cards, social security number, banking accounts, your name and address and your medical insurance account numbers. If someone steals your identity you should care because they will most likely run your bills through the roof and then NEVER pay them and it will hurt your credit. An identity theft can use your information and your name to do things like buy things with your credit card, get new credit cards, open a new phone, steal your tax refunds, get medical care or pretend they are you if they get arrested. Someone can steal your identity by stealing your mail or garbage to get your account numbers or your Social Security number, trick you into sending personal information in an email, steal your account numbers from a business or medical office or they can steal your wallet or purse to get your personal information! There are quite a few ways to tell if someone has stolen your identity, You should read your bills, Watch your bank statement, check your mail and get a yearly credit report. Your credit report is a summary of your credit history, your name, address, and Social Security number, your loans, how much money you owe and if you pay your bills on time or late. You can protect your self from identity theft by watching your wallet, being careful with your debit card/credit card, and do not tell people your pin number. Do not put personal information on the computer and have security software's on your computer. At all times you should keep your social security card, medicare cards, and financial records in a safe place. When discarding bills or anything that has your personal information in them, shred them if possible. Only give your social security number if you must. To order your once a year, free credit report call Annual Credit Report at 1-877-322-8228. Look for things you do not recognize, if you don't recognize something, ASK about it. Just remember, "It's better to be SAFE than SORRY!".

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