How does it occur?
Identity theft is defined as when when one person gains personal information and/or poses (or intends to impose) as another person for the purpose of obtaining credit, goods, services, or for the purpose of committing a fraud or other crime. (see M.G.L. c.265 s.37E)
Identity theft occurs when someone obtains your name, social security number, driver's license number, place of employment, employee identification number, maiden name, credit card numbers, any of your passwords or pin numbers, OR any combination thereof that leads to an unconsented use of someone's identity resulting in financial loss to either the victim or any creditor that extended credit after the theft.
It may occur through...
- Personal information taken while you use an ATM, use a credit card at a store, or verbally pass on your personal information when people are present.
- Personal information is taken from your mail service or your trash
- Personal information is taken from your computer use (responses, purchases, etc.).
What do I if I am a victim of identity theft?
- Call your local police department.
File a police report and ask the police to attach your Federal Trade Commission (FTC) complaint to the police report. You may also be able to proceed under the Identity Fraud Statute (M.G.L. c.266 s.37E) depending on jurisdiction.
- Contact Credit Bureaus
It is important to register a fraud alert on your credit file. Much of this can be done online by visiting each of the following websites:
- Notify Social Security Fraud Hotline
Alert them in case your SSN was compromised by visiting the following link:
Office of the Inspector General or by calling 1-800-269-0271
- Notify the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
Call the FTC directly at 1-877-ID-THEFT or visit their website at www.ftc.gov/idtheft
- Register with their Identity Theft Clearinghouse online by visiting Deter.Detect.Defend