Protecting against Identity Theft

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What Can I Do to Protect Myself against Identity Theft?

Identity theft occurs when criminals gain access to your identifying information, such as your name, address, Social Security number, banking information, or credit card information. This is accomplished in a variety of ways from robbery, to mail theft and dumpster diving, to computer fraud and phishing.

The best way to protect yourself against identity theft is to protect your bank and credit card information. This generally entails incorporating some privacy-protecting measures into your daily routine.

Tips for Preventing Identity Theft 

What Should I Do If I Have Been the Victim of Identity Theft?

If the theft is hurting your credit rating, or has the potential to, you should report the theft to Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. These are the three major credit bureaus in the U.S. Also, be sure to report the theft to the local police. If the theft involves your Social Security number, be sure to call or visit the Social Security Administration website.

You may also want to consult an attorney who has experience with white collar crime and fraud cases. Your attorney can advise you of your rights and let you know what the best course of action is, including the possibility of suing the perpetrator (if his identity is known) for compensation of any stolen money or credit.

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Last Modified: 09-04-2014 12:23 PM PDT

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