Identity Theft

What you need to know

Identity theft occurs when someone acquires key pieces of another person’s identifying information in order to impersonate them and commit fraud or other crimes. Identity thieves may seek such material as your name, Social Security number, date of birth, or financial information. This information might then be used to open illegitimate lines of credit in your name or to access and manipulate existing financial accounts.

Your identifying information can be compromised in a number of ways. Identity thieves might contact you directly and ask for information; in these cases they may pretend to be associated with a legitimate organization such your bank, credit card provider, loan servicer, or utility company, or insurance provider. Your identifying information may also be exposed if a legitimate company you have done business with experiences a data breach.

What to do

For addition information regarding identity theft and what to do if you believe your identity has been stolen, visit the Federal Trade Commission’s identity theft website: