Ultimate Resource for Protecting Yourself Against Fraud

Identity theft is the use of a person’s name and identifying data to commit fraud or other crimes, including Social Security fraud, check fraud, credit card fraud, cell phone fraud, internet fraud, and phony identity theft protection schemes. Identity theft can leave victims with damaged credit reports and thousands of dollars in fraudulent charges that require hours of effort to correct. Thieves may apply for Social Security or disability benefits with a false name and Social Security number. They commit check fraud by erasing the hand written ink on a stolen check (“check washing”) and changing the payee’s name or the check amount or by forging the account holder’s signature on stolen or photocopied checks. Sometimes they will take credit card account numbers from discarded receipts and use the information to charge expensive items or reprogram a cell phone to transmit the electronic serial number and telephone number of another, legitimate cell phone (“cloning”) and use stolen customer information to sign up for cellular service. Another strategy is using the internet to perpetrate advance fee schemes such as the Nigerian letter scam, business or employment scams, investment schemes, the theft of credit or debit card information, charge for goods or services that are never delivered, and conduct phony online auctions. Scammers also use 'phishing,' the sending of an authentic-looking e-mail assumed to come from a legitimate business, to get victims to visit a phony Web site and input personal data, such as account numbers, passwords, or credit card numbers. Lastly, thieves use the fear of identity theft to lure customers into purchasing fake identity theft protection monitoring programs.

Protecting Yourself

Social Security Fraud

Below are some resources about the topic and how to keep yourself secure

Social Security FAQs: How to keep Social Security numbers secure.

Social Security Numbers and Identity Theft: Includes information for victims of Social Security fraud and on when a new number is necessary.

Social Security Scams: Information on ways thieves use to get Social Security numbers, including types of direct mail and phone scams.

Credit Card Fraud

Use these resources to protect yourself against this common kind of fraud

Avoiding Credit Card Fraud: Do’s and Don’ts on avoiding credit card fraud.

Fraud, Scams, and Identity Theft: Information on avoiding credit card fraud, phishing, and identity theft.

Identity Theft: How to avoid identity theft, including credit card fraud.

Phone Fraud: Identifying attempts to get personal data and credit card numbers over the phone.

What to do as a Victim of Identity Theft: What victims of credit card fraud should do to correct the situation.

Check Fraud

An older kind of fraud but not to be underestimated, please read below about ensure that you are safe from forgery

Check Washing and Counterfeiting: Types of check fraud and information on protecting sources of personal information.

Forgery and Fraud: Information on how to address fraudulent checks with banking institutions.

Cell Phone Fraud

With the mass popularity of cellphones, learn how not to get taken advantage of

Cell Phone Fraud: Basic information on cell phone cloning and subscriber fraud.

Securing A Cell Phone: How to limit cell phone vulnerability to fraud and cloning.

Internet Fraud

Everyone enjoys the benefits of internet, especially internet shopping. Do all your favorite internet activities without comprimising yourself and your privacy.

Avoiding Internet Fraud: Types of internet fraud and how to spot them.

Guard Against Internet Fraud: How to protect against internet fraud and spot scams.

Internet Fraud: Learn about types of fraud and how to report it.

Phishing: How to spot phishing scams.

Report Internet Fraud: File a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center, a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National White Collar Crime Center, and the Bureau of Justice Assistance.

Types of Internet Fraud: Statistics on types of internet fraud, including online auctions, nondelivery of merchandise, and investment fraud. 

Phony Identity Theft Protection

Credit Monitoring Schemes: Legitimate and non-legitimate credit monitoring services.

Identity Theft Protection Scams: How to identify scareware and identity theft protection scams.