What is Identity Theft?

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Identity theft is a crime. It occurs when a criminal uses personal information, like your name, Social Security number, or credit card number to pose as someone else.

With enough information, a criminal can take over your identity to perform an array of crimes: such as, falsifying applications for loans and credit cards to obtain merchandise and services, make withdrawals from bank accounts, etc.

You may not know that your identity has been stolen until you review your credit report or credit card statement. By then, the criminal may have already caused considerable damage to your assets, credit, and reputation. In rare instances, the victim may even be arrested for crimes they did not commit.

The Federal Trade Commission estimates that as many as 9 million Americans have their identities stolen each year.

Some identity theft victims can fix their problems quickly; others spend hundreds of dollars and many days repairing the damage. Most Homeowners Insurance policies provide some coverage for expenses related to Identity Fraud. Contact your insurance Agent to evaluate your policy coverage if you are a victim of identity theft.

Here are a few reference websites if you suspect that you have become a victim of identity theft or fraud:

Federal Reporting Agencies:

Credit Reporting Agencies:

Other Resources: