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Identity Theft

According to the U.S. Postal Service , there were almost ten million incidents of identity theft in the United . . .

According to the U.S. Postal Service, there were almost ten million incidents of identity theft in the United States in 2004 at a cost of $5 billion to consumers.

Victims report spending 30 hours, on average, cleaning up after an identity crime at an average cost of $500.

It’s in the newspapers every day and on the news every night. People worry that someone will run up charges on their credit card or fleece their bank account while their back is turned. There is reason to worry. All a thief needs is your Social Security number to commit identity theft. This crime is relatively easy to commit, but investigating and prosecuting it is complex and time-consuming. But once you know the facts and some preventive measures you can take, you can win the fight against identity theft!

Identity thieves commit their crime in several ways:

  • They steal credit card payments and other outgoing mail from private, curbside mailboxes.
  • They dig through garbage cans or communal dumpsters in search of cancelled checks, credit card and bank statements, and preapproved credit card offers.
  • They hack into computers that contain personal records and steal the data.
  • They file a change of address form in the victim’s name to divert mail and gather personal and financial data.

In NCPC’s television public service announcement, McGruff the Crime Dog shows how thieves attempt to obtain your personal information and how you can prevent this from happening. Listen for a radio ad coming this spring.

Watch McGruff take on identity theft.


Identity Theft

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Learn how you can keep your identity to yourself. Order a copy of Preventing Identity Theft: A Guide for Consumers or download it (PDF).

Share what you learn with others by giving friends copies of a reproducible brochure on identity theft.

Resources

Preventing Identity Theft: a Guide for Consumers

Reproducible Brochures - Identity Theft (PDF) and Protecting Your Privacy (PDF)
Article - Evolving With Technology
Newspaper Mat - ID Theft (PDF)

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