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Thursday, October 12, 2023

Identity Theft Protection - Cybersecurity Awareness Month


Identity Theft

What is identity theft?

Identity theft is the term used to refer to the types of crime in which someone wrongfully obtains and uses another person's personal data in some way that involves fraud or deception, typically for economic gain. Anyone can fall victim to identity theft. These acts can damage your credit status and cost you time and money to restore your good name.

How can my identity be stolen?

The following includes some of the ways a threat actor may try to steal your identity:

  • Steal wallets or purses in order to obtain identification, credit and bank cards
  • Dig through mail and trash to retrieve applications for "pre-approved" credit cards, bank statements, tax documents, etc., that were discarded without being shredded
  • Phish” for electronic information with phony emails, text messages, phone calls and websites that are solely designed to steal sensitive information
  • Steal data or personal records through a data breach, or purchase stolen data from a malicious third party

What can someone do with your identity?

With enough information about someone, a threat actor can take over that individual's identity to conduct a wide range of fraudulent activities, such as:

  • File applications for loans and credit cards,
  • Make withdrawals from bank accounts,
  • Access online accounts

Types of Identity Theft:

There are many types of identity theft that can occur. Some of the common ones include:

  • Tax ID Theft
  • Medical ID Theft
  • Child ID Theft
  • Account Takeover Fraud

What do I do if my identity gets stolen?

Call the companies where you know the fraud occurred.

  • Place a fraud alert and get your credit reports.
  • Report identity theft to the FTC.
  • You may choose to file a report with your local police department.

How do I protect my identity?

Experts believe that identity theft cases occur so often that there is a new victim every 22 seconds. Please check out this comprehensive guide and accompanying infographic to help you take proactive steps to protect your identity.

If you receive a suspicious email, please report it to 

Additional resources:

United States Department of Justice Identity Theft Awareness

Equifax: How Does Theft Happen? Identity Theft Awareness

Experian: Many Different Forms of Identity Theft 

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