Tip #8 Identity Theft: Signs and Solutions

Everyone has unique fingerprints. The image above is work of by Cheryl Sorg, an artist who creates portraits of people's thumbprints.

Everyone has unique fingerprints. The images above shows work by Cheryl Sorg, an artist who creates portraits of people’s thumbprints.

Identity theft happens when someone accesses your personal information and uses it without your permission and for their personal gain. Information that can be stolen and used includes bank account numbers, credit card numbers, utility bills, and health insurance policies. Someone with your personally identifiable information (PII) can even file a tax refund in your name and get your refund. There’s even been cases where a thief gives another person’s name during an arrest.

To protect yourself against identity theft, be vigilant about sharing your personal information. Guard your passwords like you do your wallet and any sensitive information.

If your identity is stolen, having a good plan to address the situation will help minimize the effects. Identitytheft.gov outlines a plan, which is summarized below. Also, contact Fordham’s IT Customer Care. They’re prepared to help you figure out what your next steps should be.

Step 1: Call the companies where you know fraud occurred.
Step 2: Place a fraud alert and get your credit report.
Step 3: Report identity theft to the FTC.
Step 4: File a report with your local police department.

Step 1: Close new accounts opened in your name.
Step 2: Remove bogus charges from your accounts.
Step 3: Correct your credit report.
Step 4: Consider adding an extended fraud alert or credit freeze.

Identitytheft.gov lists other steps for specific situations, as well, such as tax-related identity theft, resolving child identity theft, and replacing government-issued issues.


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