Identity theft is the deliberate assumption of another person's identity usually to gain access to their finances. Confidential information (Social Security Number, drivers license, credit card numbers) can be stolen in a variety of ways...however, computers have contributed significantly to identity theft numbers in the past few years.
- Beware of phishing sites and email
- Review credit card statements monthly
- Request annual credit reports (free)
- Do not provide personal information online unless the site is secure
- Information you provide to online banking and shopping sites should be encrypted. The site's URL should begin with https . Some browsers have an icon representing a lock at the lower right of the browser window.
- Do not provide personal information via email
- Shred personal records and credit card marketing requests
- Keep credit cards and passwords private. Keep a minimum of credit cards in your wallet
- Do not carry your social security card with you. Keep it somewhere safe
- To prevent new credit from being established in your name consider implementing a "credit freeze" at the credit reporting agencies. (NJ Identity Theft Prevention Law). This procedure will prevent any credit from being created in your name. You can "thaw" the freeze when you need to apply for new credit.
- Wireless hot spots are not secure. Visit the Using non-Stevens networks page for more information.
If you are a victim:
- In collaboration with Stevens, Identity Theft 911 offers a comprehensive solution to the problem of identity theft. Identity Theft 911 advisers can guide victims, one-on-one, through a crisis resolution process.
- Contact your bank and credit card companies to close the accounts you know or believe have been tampered with or opened fraudulently.
- File a police report. Get a copy of the report and submit it to your creditors.
- File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC ).
- Notify credit agencies:
To order a report call 1-800-685-1111
To report fraud call 1-800-525-6285
To order a report call 1-888-397-3742
To report a fraud call 1-888-397-3742
- Trans Union:
To order a report call 1-800-916-8800
To report a fraud call 1-800-680-7289
Websites of interest:
Rutger's Identity Theft Resolution Center
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
New Jersey State Division of Consumer Affairs