A Guide For Parents

  Neighborhood Resource 




How Does Identity Theft Happen?

Identity theft commonly begins with the loss or theft of a wallet or purse.  But there are many ways that criminals can get and use your personal information in order to commit identity theft.  The following are some examples:

Example 1

One evening, you sit down to pay your monthly bills.  You write checks, toss the statements in the trash and put the container out on the curb for the morning's trash pick-up.  While you sleep, "dumpster-divers" go through your trash looking for the papers you've thrown away.  They discover a gold min of information that can be used for fraudulent purposes - your name, address, phone number, utility service account numbers, credit card numbers, and your Social Security number.

Example 2

You receive an email message from what appears to be your Internet Service Provider (ISP).  The message requests that you update the information they have on file about you - your name, credit card number, bank account number, etc. - by replying to the email or going to a specific Web site address to provide the information.  However, neither the message nor the Web site address is from you ISP.  They belong to someone who wants to get your information to steal your identity.

What is Identity Theft?
How does it happen?
Protect your identity
Prevention tips
If you're a victim
Additional Resources