Identity Theft

Don’t be a victim of identity Theft!

Identity theft is a crime in which someone obtains key pieces of Personal Identifying Information (PII) such as Social Security numbers, bank account/credit card information, driver’s license numbers and uses them for their own personal gain.  This can happen when someone gets access to your wallet, purse to obtain your personal information such as your Social Security number, drivers license information, or credit/bank account information.  Identity thieves will also go through your trash can to retrieve advertisements and offers of credit cards, loans, money and other offers of things of value that you typically throw away without shredding.  If you are a victim of identity theft, contact a law enforcement agency immediately explaining that this is a case of misidentification and that someone is using your personal information. The UTEP Police Department can assist you in this process.
Identity Theft

Prevention

Shred all financial documents and paperwork with personal information before you discard them.

Shred all advertisement offers of credit cards, money, loans, or credit

Protect your Social security number. Don’t carry your Social Security card in your wallet or purse.

Don’t give out your personal information on the phone, through e-mail or other means unless you trust who you are dealing with and you use secure websites.

Never click on links sent in unsolicited emails.

Use firewalls anti-spyware and anti-virus to protect your computer or laptop.

Don’t use obvious passwords (birth date, mother’s maiden name, or last four digits of your Social Security number).

Keep your personal information in a secure place at home or dorm, especially if you have roommates.

Always monitor your bank or credit card statements for unexpected charges.

Inspect/ Review your credit report yearly. If suspected of Identity Theft, file a police report immediately.

Report the Identity Theft to the Federal Trade Commission online at www.ftc.gov/idtheft or call 1-800-877-ID-THEFT(438-4338)

Resources

Check your credit report on a regular basis not only to maintain a good credit score but to ensure that you have not been a victim of identity theft. Equifax: 1-800-525-6285 Experian: 1-888-EXPERIAN(397-3742) Trans Union: 1-800-680-7289
Money Matters Website:  http://sa.utep.edu/moneymatters/credit/avoid-identity-theft/