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  Protect Against Identity Theft & Fraud  

What is identify theft?  Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information such as your name, Social Security number, credit card number, or other identifying information, without your permission, to commit fraud or other crimes.  The victim may be billed for products or services ordered by the thief; in some cases, money is taken directly from a victim’s savings or investment accounts.


Unfortunately, the same computer technology that has resulted in greater ease and efficiency in managing our bank accounts, investments and paying bills has also made it easier for dishonest persons to fraudulently use your identifying information to either set up credit or other accounts in your name, or to steal money directly from your financial accounts.


The term “fraud” can be applied to a collection of cons and scams that have been perpetrated for years.  These include telemarketing scans, door-to-door scams, mail fraud, home repair scams, investment scams and many more.


Identity theft has been reported as the fastest growing crime in the United States.  According to the Federal Trade Commission,

 Other Resources

Identity Theft Resource Center: a nationwide nonprofit organization that fights identity theft by supporting victims, broadening public awareness, disseminating information and decreasing the potential victim population. 

You can learn how to place or lift a freeze on your credit report.

  • Over 27 million people have experienced identity theft in the last five years.   That's one in nearly every ten people in this country.
  • Ten million people were victims of this crime last year.
  • Those victims last year lost $48 billion to the thieves.


    And according to testimony by the Social Security Administration before the U.S. Senate's Special Committee on Aging: those over 65 years of age "are more likely than most to have significant assets -- savings, investments, paid-up mortgages and federal entitlement checks."  This fact puts them at risk for both identity theft and more traditional fraud and scams.  Furthermore, Uncle Sam uses Social security numbers on Medicare, Medicaid and military identification cards, creating more exposure for seniors should they lose these documents.


    Steps to minimize the chances of identity theft & fraud are useful but hardly foolproof.  Ultimately the only secure way to guard against identity theft to consistently review bank and credit card transactions for anything  out of the ordinary and to monitor credit reports for any inquiries or establishment of credit not rightfully authorized.

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