Identity theft is the fastest growing crime of the 21st century and occurs when someone wrongfully uses your personal information for their personal gain. If you are a victim of identity theft:
- Place a fraud alert on your credit reports by contacting the credit reporting agencies listed below.
- Close compromised accounts immediately. Call all companies where an account has been tampered with or opened fraudulently. Close them where necessary. Follow up in writing.
- Report the identity theft to the federal trade commission. Complete the complaint online (www.identitytheft.gov) and provide a printed copy of it, called an "FTC Affidavit", when you file a report with the police.
- File a police report and ask the police to attach your FTC Affidavit to the police report. Get a copy of the report for your records and send a copy to each CRA.
Credit Reporting Agencies:
- Equifax 800.525.6285
- Experian 888.397.3742
- Trans Union 800.680.7289
The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C).
IC3's mission is to receive, develop, and refer criminal complaints regarding the rapidly expanding arena of cyber crime. The IC3 gives the victims of cyber crime a convenient and easy-to-use reporting mechanism that alerts authorities of suspected criminal or civil violations.
To report a cyber crime to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, go to: http://www.ic3.gov/
Hoaxes and Urban Legends
Urban legends multiply and grow with each telling creating distorted, exaggerated and sensationalized stories. Email accounts can become plagued with spam mail falsely warning about frauds, child abductions and money requests.
Hoaxes are created with the purpose of deceiving people. Hoaxes are perpetrated as practical jokes, to cause embarrassment, or to provoke social change.
Ignoring hoaxes and urban legends can sometimes be difficult. Often stories can seem very real and emotional. To check the validity of a story visit these sites: