Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft

The crime of "identity theft" is increasing throughout the United States everyday, and access to the Internet has made it easier for persons with your confidential, personal information, to gain access to your bank, credit and investment accounts. Identity theft and fraud refer to crimes where a person wrongfully obtains and uses another person's personal data (e.g., credit card, social security number) that involves fraud or deception, usually for economic gain. The government estimates that there are over 400,000 people victimized by these crimes each year. Below are some easy steps you can take to minimize the chances that you will be included in this statistic.

What should you do if you become a victim of identity theft? The most important thing is to act immediately to minimize damage to your personal funds, credit and reputation.

For more information, go to the FTC's identity theft Web page at www.consumer.gov/idtheft/.