Identity theft is the act of stealing someone's name to commit fraud.
Ways to guard against identity theft:
- Provide your Social Security number only when absolutely necessary and only
to an organization that is reputable.
- Carry only necessary identification. Minimize the number of credit cards
you carry in your wallet or purse. If your identification or credit cards
are lost or stolen, call and notify the credit bureaus immediately. Ask that
a "fraud alert" be placed in your file.
- When providing personal information, ask how it will be used and if it will
be shared with others or if it will be sold.
- Periodically check your credit report for accuracy. Under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, consumers can request a free credit report once every 12 months from each of the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies.