What is identity theft? Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal identifying information, like your name, Social Security number, or credit card number, without your permission, to commit fraud or other crimes.
The crime takes many forms. Identity thieves may rent an apartment, obtain a credit card, or establish a telephone account in your name. You may not find out about the theft until you review your credit report or a credit card statement and notice charges you didn’t make, or until you’re contacted by a debt collector.
There are many ways you can protect yourself against identity theft.
Never give out personal information over the phone, through an email, or the internet unless you know exactly who you are dealing with.
Always protect your social security number. Never carry your social security card with you.
Always shred documents that contain any personal or financial information.