Choosing Housing Necessities “Take Charge of Your Finances” Grade Level 10-12

Choosing Housing Necessities “Take Charge of Your Finances” Grade Level 10-12
1.9.1
Choosing Housing Necessities
Grade Level 10-12
“Take Charge of Your Finances”
Materials provided by: Connie Jones, Drummond High School, Drummond, Montana
Time to complete: 120 minutes
Content Standards
Family and Consumer Science Standards: 1.1.6, 1.2.4, 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.1.5, 2.5.1, 2.6.1, 2.6.2, 13.3.2, 13.5.7
National Council on Economic Education Teaching Standards: 3
National Standards for Business Education
• Career Development:
• Economics:
• Personal Finance: III.2
Objectives
Upon completion of this lesson, participants will be able to:
ƒ Develop a checklist of housing equipment and supplies.
ƒ Estimate the cost of housing necessities.
ƒ Identify ways to save money when choosing housing necessities.
Introduction
When a young adult moves out of a family’s house for the first time, he/she leaves behind a home filled with supplies
and furnishings. These are items individuals or families have spent a lifetime accumulating. This is a time for a
young adult to consider what their needs verses wants are and to learn about the costs associated with making their
new place of residence habitable.
A person’s choices depend upon what they feel is important. Perhaps they can start out with one dish, one spoon,
one knife, one pan, one blanket, a bar of soap, and one towel, relying on their friends to let them “borrow” whatever
else they may need. This would be a Spartan existence, but it is not impossible.
Those who prefer a different type of existence can begin collecting items needed at low cost, free of charge, or on
loan. Discount stores often run specials at the beginning of school terms; this is one way for individuals to buy some
essentials. Relatives may have extra equipment they are willing to give away or sell at a reduced price, and there are
several thrift stores and garage sales that offer items at a bargain as well.
Preparation for Choosing Housing Necessities:
When moving, it is important to create a list of items needed for the new location. This activity serves to assist
individuals in gathering necessary items early to avoid being unprepared come moving day. After making a list, set a
moving budget to decipher the amount of money one can afford to spend on furnishing a new place to live.
Tips for staying within a budget include:
ƒ Keep eyes open for good buys;
ƒ Use creative money-saving ideas for short term needs;
ƒ Shop discount stores, thrift stores, and garage sales;
ƒ Check with friends and relatives for items to borrow or purchase for a reduced price;
© Family Economics & Financial Education – Revised May 2010 – Housing Unit – Choosing Housing Necessities – Page 1
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1.9.1
ƒ Check classified ads for bargains;
ƒ Find a place to live which includes furnishings.
When purchasing necessary items, shop economically and buy the best quality at an affordable price. Some
suggestions include:
ƒ Relatives and friends
ƒ Auctions
ƒ Used furniture and furniture rental stores
ƒ Garage sales
ƒ Antique shops
ƒ Department, furniture, and appliance stores
ƒ Mail order
ƒ TV and Internet shopping
ƒ Hardware stores
ƒ Newspaper advertisements
ƒ Thrift stores
In this lesson, participants estimate the cost of furnishing a place to live, research how much it would cost to furnish
a place to live with new furnishings, and compare their findings.
Body
1. Ask the class if anyone has recently moved into a new place.
a. Did you have all the necessary items to move into the new place or did you have to purchase some
new items for the new place?
b. If you had to purchase new items, how expensive was it?
2. Tell the participants to imagine moving away from home next week into a new place to live.
a. Do they have all of the housing necessities and furnishings they need?
b. What items would they need to purchase?
c. How much money would they have to purchase the needed items?
3. Stress that may young adults leave a whole houseful of supplies and furnishings behind that their family has
acquired over a lifetime and it is now their turn.
a. This is perhaps a time to really look around and consider what will be needed when starting out.
b. People have to acquire their own things as they begin their independent life.
4. Ask the participants to list a few supplies they would need to start out living on their own.
5. Discuss that a method to discovering what will be needed in a new place to live is to look assess the things
they currently use on a daily basis and decide what will be needed at their next residence.
a. If they know where they are moving to, some helpful things to ask about the residence before
moving in include:
i.
What furnishings and appliances are already in the residence?
ii.
What “extras” are available at the residence or nearby such as laundry facilities, gym
facilities, yard care items, etc. Is there additional cost to use these?
iii.
How much storage is available?
b. If they have a roommate, contact them to coordinate what each person plans to bring to avoid
duplication of furniture, lamps, chairs, etc.
6. Talk to participants about the next step in the choosing housing necessities. Ask participants to brainstorm
a list of places to look for the needed furnishings and supplies. Write the answers on the board. Examples
include:
a. Relatives and friends
b. Auctions
© Family Economics & Financial Education – Revised May 2010 – Housing Unit – Choosing Housing Necessities – Page 2
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1.9.1
c. Used furniture and furniture rental stores
d. Garage sales
e. Antique shops
f. Department, furniture, and appliance stores
g. Mail order
h. TV and Internet shopping
i. Hardware stores
j. Newspaper advertisements
k. Thrift stores
7. Stress to participants that housing necessities can be expensive. They should set a budget before shopping
to avoid overspending.
a. For buying things one will need, shop economically and buy the best quality at an affordable price.
b. Stress most people cannot afford to purchase furnishings for an entire home immediately. During
the transition, they may find low-cost items and use borrowed furnishings.
c. Tips for staying within a budget include:
i.
Watch for good buys;
ii.
Use creative money-saving ideas for short term needs;
iii.
Shop discount stores, thrift stores, and garage sales;
iv.
Check with friends and relatives for items to borrow or purchase for a reduced price;
v.
Check the classified ads for bargains;
vi.
Find a place to live which includes furnishings.
d. Also, tell participants to think about how the housing necessities being discussed do not include
decorations to make the house into a ‘comfortable place to live.’ This adds extra expenses which
need to be planned.
8. Remind participants that by not creating a list of needed items and a budget to stick to when purchasing
household items, furnishing a new place can go over budget and become expensive quickly.
9. Hand out the Choosing Housing Necessities worksheet 1.9.1.A1 to the participants.
a. *Note to educator: The teacher may choose to have the participants complete the worksheet in
groups to speed up the research process. It is helpful to still have each participant complete their
own worksheet for future reference. The amount of time given to the participants to perform the
research is to be decided upon by the teacher.
b. *Note to educator: The points were assigned as follows, 1 point per section of items, 1 point for the
estimated value in each section, 1 point for the actual value of each section, 1 point for the total
needs, 1 point for the total wants, and 1 point for the total family help, 1 point for the signatures at
the end for a total of 58 points.
c. During class, have the participants fill in the left hand column by guessing and recording (to their
best estimate) how much each item would cost brand new.
d. Have them calculate and record the total cost for the furnishings.
e. Record and compare the participant’s answers on the board. Write the range in which the prices are
estimates.
f. Then have the participants research the actual prices on each item. Places to look for prices include:
i.
Catalogs
ii.
Newspaper ads
iii.
Internet stores
g. Participants should calculate and record the total amount for the actual prices for comparison.
Note to educator: It may be helpful to have the participants indicate where they found the
i.
price for each item for participants who are or will soon be living on their own. This also
facilitates a discussion about the different costs and quality of product associated with
different places to acquire items.
© Family Economics & Financial Education – Revised May 2010 – Housing Unit – Choosing Housing Necessities – Page 3
Funded by a grant from Take Charge America, Inc. to the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences Take Charge America Institute at The University of Arizona
1.9.1
h. While participants are researching the items on the worksheet, have each participant draw a
Fortune Card 1.9.1.H1. Each card will award the participant with an item on the furnishings list to
simulate getting furniture from family, friends, or wherever for no cost.
i.
*Note to educator – instead of drawing fortune cards, you may have participants
determine what their family’s will provide them with when they move out and have to
budget for the remaining necessities.
ii.
The participant should then subtract the item’s amount from their total costs on the
worksheet.
iii.
They should not subtract the item’s amount from the total cost
Conclusion
After the participants have completed both worksheets, have a class discussion to compare their estimates to the
actual prices. Write the participant’s estimates and the actual prices on the board. Discuss the findings with the
participants.
ƒ Are you surprised by the cost of housing necessities?
ƒ What were the most expensive items?
ƒ What were the least expensive items?
ƒ What items on the list could you survive without if everything could not be afforded at once?
ƒ What items on the list are necessary to some, but unnecessary to others?
ƒ What creative money-saving ideas could be used for housing necessities?
Assessment
Housing Needs and Wants worksheet 1.9.1.A2
Materials
Choosing Housing Necessities worksheet – 1.9.1.A1
Housing Needs and Wants worksheet – 1.9.1.A2
Fortune Cards – 1.9.1.H1
Newspaper ads for stores
Catalogs
Internet access
© Family Economics & Financial Education – Revised May 2010 – Housing Unit – Choosing Housing Necessities – Page 4
Funded by a grant from Take Charge America, Inc. to the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences Take Charge America Institute at The University of Arizona
1.9.1.A1
Worksheet
Choosing Housing Necessities
58
Name_____________
Total Points Earned
Total Points Possible
Percentage
Date_____________
Class_____________
Directions: In the left hand column, guess and record (to your best estimate) how much each item would cost. Calculate the subtotal for each section, and
then calculate the total for all estimated costs. In the right hand column, research and record the actual cost. Calculate the subtotal for each section, then
calculate the total for all actual costs.
Kitchen:
N W
Home
Help X
Item
Estimate
Cost
Actual Cost
N
W
Home
Help X
Item
Storage
Aluminum foil
Garbage Bags
Storage
Containers
Other
Food Preparation Tools
Graduated meas.
Cups
Measuring
Spoons
Spatula/pancake
turner
Bottle opener
Large bowl
Salt & Pepper
shakers
Slotted Spoon
Plastic Wrap
Plastic bags
Other
Other
Can opener
Vegetable peeler
Pot holders
Mixing Spoon
Timer
Canister set
Cutting board
© Family Economics & Financial Education – Revised May 2010 – Housing Unit – Choosing Housing Necessities – Page 5
Funded by a grant from Take Charge America, Inc. to the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences Take Charge America Institute at The University of Arizona
Estimate
Cost
Actual Cost
1.9.1.A1
Worksheet
Rubber spatula
Varied knives
Pizza cutter
Strainer/
colander
Other
Other
Wire whisk
Other
Cooking
2 qt. casserole
with cover
2 saucepans with
lids
Muffin tins
Pizza Pan
Cookie Sheet
Dinner Plates
Glasses
Cups/Mugs
Platter
Other
Cereal Bowls
Soup Bowls
Serving Dishes
Other
Other
Frying Pan
9X13 cake pan
Other
Table Service
Appliances
Microwave
Toaster
Coffee Pot
Other
General Kitchen Supplies
Paper towels
Dish towels
Dish soap
Other
Electric Hand mixer
Electric frying pan
Other
Other
Napkins
Dish rags
Scrub Brush
Garbage Can
Estimated cost
Total (ALL)
Actual Costs
Total (ALL)
Estimated Costs
Total Needs
Total Wants
Total Value of
Family Help
© Family Economics & Financial Education – Revised May 2010 – Housing Unit – Choosing Housing Necessities – Page 6
Funded by a grant from Take Charge America, Inc. to the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences Take Charge America Institute at The University of Arizona
Actual cost
1.9.1.A1
Worksheet
Bathroom:
N W Home
Help X
Storage & Supplies
Item
Estimate
Cost
Actual Cost
N
W
Home
Help X
Shower
curtain/liner
Curtain rings
Hand towels
Shower caddy
Toilet brush
Item
Estimate
Cost
Actual Cost
Personal toiletries
Toothpaste
Toothbrush
Deodorant
Shampoo/Conditio
ner
Makeup
Brush/Comb
Face lotion
Face wash
Soap
Contact Supplies
Feminine products
Others
Others
Others
Toilet paper
Cup/glasses
Tissues
Mats/rugs
Curtain rod
Towels-large
Washcloths
Soap dish
Wastebasket
Other
Estimated Cost
Total (ALL)
Actual Costs
Total (ALL)
Estimated Costs
Actual Cost
Total Needs
Total Wants
Total Value of Family Help
Bedroom:
Item
N W Home
Help X
Furniture & Supplies
Mattress/box
spring
Night stand
Dresser
Estimate
Cost
Actual Cost
N
W
Home
Help X
Item
Bed frame
Lamp
Desk
© Family Economics & Financial Education – Revised May 2010 – Housing Unit – Choosing Housing Necessities – Page 7
Funded by a grant from Take Charge America, Inc. to the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences Take Charge America Institute at The University of Arizona
Estimate
Cost
Actual Cost
1.9.1.A1
Worksheet
Alarm/radio
Other
Pillow(s)
Other
Sheets/Pillow
cases
Mattress pad
Other
Comforter
Linens
Blanket(s)
Other
Estimated Cost
Total (ALL)
Actual Costs
Total (ALL)
Estimated Costs
Actual Cost
Total Needs
Total Wants
Total Value of Family Help
Living Room & Dining Room:
Item
N W Home
Help X
Furniture
Table
Couch
Blanket(s)
Lamp (s)
VCR/DVD
Other
Estimate
Cost
Actual Cost
N
W
Home
Help X
Item
Estimate
Cost
Actual Cost
Chairs for table
Easy Chair
End table
Rugs
Television
TV Stand
Estimated Cost
Total (ALL)
Actual Costs
Total (ALL)
Estimated Costs
Actual Cost
Total Needs
Total Wants
Total Value of Family Help
General Appliances & Supplies:
Item
N W Home
Help X
General Household Items
Clock(s)
Radio/stereo
Estimate
Cost
Actual Cost
N
W
Home
Help X
Item
Surge Protector
Computer
© Family Economics & Financial Education – Revised May 2010 – Housing Unit – Choosing Housing Necessities – Page 8
Funded by a grant from Take Charge America, Inc. to the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences Take Charge America Institute at The University of Arizona
Estimate
Cost
Actual Cost
1.9.1.A1
Worksheet
Extension Cord
Phone/cell phone
Other
Hangers
Answering Machine
Other
Wastebasket(s)
Light Bulbs
Others
Tissue
Batteries
Others
General Supplies
Estimate Cost
Total (ALL)
Actual Costs
Total (ALL)
Estimated Costs
Cleaning:
N W Home
Help
X
Equipment
Actual Cost
Total Needs
Total Wants
Total Value of Family Help
Item
Estimate
Cost
Actual Cost
N
W
Home
Help X
Item
Washer/Dryer
Iron
Mop/Swiffer
Laundry Basket
Vacuum cleaner
Ironing Board
Broom/Dustpan
Other
Laundry
Detergent
Stain treatment
All – purpose
cleaner
Toilet bowl
cleaner
Tub, tile, sink
cleaner
Sponges
Fabric Softener
Estimate
Cost
Actual Cost
Supplies & Products
Bleach
Glass cleaner
Disinfectant
Rags
Other
Estimated Cost
Total (ALL)
Actual Costs
Total Needs
Total Wants
© Family Economics & Financial Education – Revised May 2010 – Housing Unit – Choosing Housing Necessities – Page 9
Funded by a grant from Take Charge America, Inc. to the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences Take Charge America Institute at The University of Arizona
Actual Cost
1.9.1.A1
Worksheet
Total (ALL)
Estimated Costs
Repair Supplies:
N W
Home
Help
X
Tools
Total Value of Family Help
Item
Estimate
Cost
Actual Cost
N
W
Home
Help X
Item
Adjustable
screwdriver
Other
Pliers
Nail/screw
assortment
Plunger
Other
Glue
Estimate
Cost
Actual Cost
Hammer
Supplies
Duct Tape
Other
Estimated Cost
Total (ALL) Actual Costs
Total Needs
Total Wants
Total Value of Family Help
Total (ALL) Estimated Costs
Emergency Supplies:
Item
N W Home
Help X
Medical
Pain medication
First Aid Kit
Flashlight
Estimate
Cost
Actual Cost
N
W
Home
Help X
Item
Estimate
Cost
Actual Cost
Bandages
Rubbing Alcohol
Other
Estimated Cost
Total (ALL)
Actual Costs
Total (ALL)
Estimated Costs
Actual Cost
Total Needs
Total Wants
Total Value of
Family Help
© Family Economics & Financial Education – Revised May 2010 – Housing Unit – Choosing Housing Necessities – Page 10
Funded by a grant from Take Charge America, Inc. to the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences Take Charge America Institute at The University of Arizona
Actual Cost
1.9.1.A1
Worksheet
We worked together to complete the beginning steps of this lesson:
______________________________________________
Participant Signature
______________________________________________
Parent/Guardian Signature
Comments or suggestions:
Date:
Directions:
ƒ Following the completion of the Choosing Housing Necessities tables use that information to complete
the table below.
ƒ For each category add up the total cost of Needs (N) and Wants (W) that were indicated on the
previous table. Record your total number of needs and wants in the appropriate columns (A and B
respectively)
ƒ Add the total cost of needs and wants together to calculate a total cost for each category. Record this
cost in the appropriate column (C)
ƒ Add up the total cost of family help for each category and record in the appropriate column
ƒ Calculate the cost to set up housekeeping by subtracting the total cost of family help (D) from the total
cost of needs and wants (C). Record your answer in the appropriate column
ƒ In the columns that have a # sign order the categories from most expensive (6) to least expensive (1) for
each total cost calculation.
ƒ Calculate all of the categories together to get the total cost for each section and record in the appropriate
boxes at the bottom of the table.
Categories
#
Total
Cost of
Needs (A)
#
Total
Cost of
Wants
(B)
#
Needs
+Wants
Total cost
(C)
#
Total
Family
Help total
cost (D)
#
Cost to set up
housekeeping
(C-D)
Kitchen
Bathroom
Bedroom
Living
room and
Dining
room
General
appliances
& supplies
Emergency
Supplies
Total
A
Total Actual
Costs
B
C
D
E
© Family Economics & Financial Education – Revised May 2010 – Housing Unit – Choosing Housing Necessities – Page 11
Funded by a grant from Take Charge America, Inc. to the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences Take Charge America Institute at The University of Arizona
1.9.1.A2
Worksheet
Housing Needs and Wants
57
Name________________
Total Points Earned
Total Points Possible
Percentage
Date________________
Directions: Complete the following questions based upon the Choosing Housing Necessities worksheet.
1. Total estimated cost and actual cost: (2 points)
2. Difference between the estimated cost and actual cost: (1 point)
3. What was your “good fortune” card and how would the card affect your total costs? (2 points)
4. Were your estimates realistic? Explain your answer.
(1 point)
5. Do you feel more aware of the costs of starting to live on your own?
(1 point)
6. Total needs cost: (1 point)
7. Could you afford to move out on your own today? Explain your answer. (1 point)
8. Where did you shop? (1 point)
9. Where did one classmate shop? (1 point)
© Family Economics & Financial Education – Revised May 2010 – Housing Unit – Choosing Housing Necessities – Page 12
Funded by a grant from Take Charge America, Inc. to the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences Take Charge America Institute at The University of Arizona
1.9.1.A2
Worksheet
10. What was the difference between your total and your classmate’s total? Be sure to indicate if it was more
or less. (1 point)
11. Will the quality of your items be affected by the location choice that you made? (1 point)
12. What does this project show about your values? (1 point)
13. Evaluate the costs of the housing categories using your table and the cost order (10 points)
Needs (A)
Wants (B)
Needs + Wants
Family Help
Cost to set up
(C)
(D)
housekeeping
(E)
Greatest Cost
Category
Lowest Cost
Category
Why do you think that these were the results? (1 point)
14. List 12 things you feel you could not live without from the housing necessities list in the first column.
Then you must choose 4 items to purchase now, 4 items to purchase in 6 months, and 4 items to
purchase when they could be afforded by placing a checkmark in the corresponding box. (24 points)
Item to purchase Item to purchase in Item to purchase when
Item
now
6 months
it’s affordable
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
© Family Economics & Financial Education – Revised May 2010 – Housing Unit – Choosing Housing Necessities – Page 13
Funded by a grant from Take Charge America, Inc. to the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences Take Charge America Institute at The University of Arizona
1.9.1.A2
Worksheet
15. Identify 5 creative ideas to save money when choosing housing necessities. (5 points)
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
16. Has your family previously discussed you moving out? (1 point)
17. How much would your total cost be if you were to buy all of your needs and wants with family help? (1
point)
18. Now, it is time to make a plan for when you move out. Write one SMART goal that will help you save
the money needed to cover your needs after your family’s help. (1 point)
© Family Economics & Financial Education – Revised May 2010 – Housing Unit – Choosing Housing Necessities – Page 14
Funded by a grant from Take Charge America, Inc. to the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences Take Charge America Institute at The University of Arizona
1.3.1
Identity Theft
Grade Level 10-12
“Take Charge of Your Finances”
Materials provided by: Tracey Newman, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ste. Genevieve High School,
Ste. Genevieve, Missouri and Lindy Hockenbary Family and Consumer Sciences and Business educator, Montana.
Time to complete: 180 minutes
National Content Standards
Family and Consumer Science Standards: 2.3.1, 2.3.3, 2.4.1, 3.2.3, 3.2.5, 3.2.8
National Council on Economic Education Teaching Standards:
National Standards for Business Education
• Career Development:
• Economics:
• Personal Finance: VIII.1
Objectives
Upon completion of this lesson, participants will be able to:
ƒ Assess the dangers of identity theft.
ƒ Identify how identity thieves obtain personal information.
ƒ Explain what identity thieves can do with an individual’s information.
ƒ Practice methods to minimize the risk of identity theft.
ƒ Recognize the warning signs of identity theft.
ƒ Formulate plans for minimizing the risk of loss in the event of an identity theft.
ƒ Compare the pros and cons of identity theft protection products and services.
Introduction
In January 2009, the Federal Trade Commission reported that 313,982 “identity theft” complaints were filed during
2008. Identity theft complaints accounted for 26% of consumer fraud complaints in 2008, making it number one on
the government’s list of complaints. Fraud associated with third party and creditor debt collection was a distant
second with only 9% of the complaints. Approximately 7% of the victims of identity theft in 2008 were under 20
years of age.1
Identity Theft:
Identity theft occurs when someone wrongfully acquires and uses a consumer’s personal identification, credit, or
account information. Individuals whose identities have been stolen may spend countless weeks, months, or even
years and hundreds of dollars resolving the problems the thieves have caused. According to the Federal Trade
Commission, 10% of identity theft victims during 2005 reported expenses of more than $1,200, and 11% of all
victims reported that it had taken 3 or more months to resolve the problems associated with identity theft after they
discovered that their information was being misused.1 The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is an agency of the
United States government that primarily focuses on consumer protection. The FTC helps pass laws that protect
consumers against issues such as untruthful advertising, price fixing, product warranties, and identity theft.
During a person’s lifetime, there will be countless times when personal information is used during everyday
transactions. These might include writing a check at the local store, charging airline tickets, renting a car, applying
© Family Economics & Financial Education – Revised May 2010 – Consumer Protection Unit – Identity Theft– Page 1
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1.3.1
for a credit card, mailing in tax returns, or using a cell phone to order pizza. These transactions are the activities
upon which identity thieves thrive. Each one of these transactions requires a person to share personal information,
thereby increasing the possibility of someone stealing this information to commit identity fraud. Identity theft can
wreak havoc on an individual’s credit report, cause a person to be arrested for crimes they did not commit, or open
accounts using a person’s name without the victim ever realizing their personal information had been stolen.
How Do They Do It?
Identity thieves obtain personal information such as a Social Security number, credit reports, credit card numbers,
name, date of birth, etc… through a variety of methods.
ƒ Stealing – a thief can access personal information by stealing any of the following: a purse or wallet,
personnel records from a workplace, tax information, bank or credit card statements, and pre-approved
credit card offers from the mail.
ƒ Diverting Mail – thieves can complete a change of address form and have the victim’s bills and
statements mailed to a different location.
ƒ Dumpster Diving – information carelessly discarded into the trash can be stolen when a thief digs
through the garbage.
ƒ Skimming – thieves may steal credit or debit card information by attaching a device to card processors.
ƒ Phishing – thieves use a form of electronic communication (usually e-mail) to pretend to be a company
or depository institution in order to get the victim to give up their personal information.
ƒ Pretexting – thieves use false pretenses to obtain your personal information from depository institutions,
telephone companies, and other sources. For example, a pretexter may call an individual and claim that
he/she is from a research firm. The pretexter will ask for an individual’s name, address, birth date, and
social security number. Then, the pretexter will use the information collected to call the individual’s
depository institution, pretend to be that person, and obtain additional information, such as bank and
credit card account numbers.
ƒ Spyware – software may be installed on the victim’s computer, without their knowledge or consent, that
monitors Internet use, sends pop up ads, re-directs the computer to other sites, and tracks key strokes.4
ƒ Hacking – thieves may break into a computer system and steal information.
What Identity Thieves do with Information
Once an identity thief has an individual’s information, it can be used in numerous ways. Identity thieves can:
ƒ Apply for new driver’s licenses;
ƒ Open new bank and credit accounts;
ƒ Apply for credit cards or store credit accounts;
ƒ Take out student loans;
ƒ Obtain cash with bank cards;
ƒ Get jobs;
ƒ Rent an apartment;
ƒ Make retail purchases;
ƒ Apply for a phone or other utilities;
ƒ File bankruptcy;
ƒ Counterfeit checks;
ƒ Give another person’s name during an arrest.
Preventing Identity Theft:
Although there is not an absolute way to avoid identity theft, there are actions that can be taken to minimize risk.
© Family Economics & Financial Education – Revised May 2010 – Consumer Protection Unit – Identity Theft– Page 2
Funded by a grant from Take Charge America, Inc. to the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences Take Charge America Institute at The University of Arizona
1.3.1
Information
Wallets and Purses
How to Minimize Risk
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Credit, Debit, and
ATM Cards
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Credit Card Offers
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Mail
Email
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Telephone
Computer Security
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Do not leave in plain sight
Do not hang purses from a chair in a public place
Use purses that close securely
Only carry what is necessary. Do not carry social security cards, passports, or birth
certificates
Keep in a safe place at work and home
Close unwanted accounts in writing and by phone, cut up the card, and dispose of the
pieces in separate places
Only carry cards that are used
Memorize the PIN number and do not use easily accessible numbers such as a date of
birth, anniversary, address, phone number, etc
Sign back of credit and debit cards with signature and “Please See ID”
Do not give out account numbers unless making a transaction that is initiated by the
consumer rather than responding to a telephone or e-mail solicitation
Keep receipts and check statements regularly for any errors or signs of fraudulent use
Shred credit card offers and applications; a cross-cut shredder is safest because it will cut
the document into crisscross pieces which are more difficult to reassemble
Shred pre-approved credit cards that are not used
The Fair Credit Reporting Act gives consumers the option to prevent credit reporting
agencies from providing their credit file information to firms sending prescreened credit
offers. Individuals can “opt out” of receiving prescreened credit offers for 5 years by
calling 1-888-567-8688 or at www.optoutprescreen.com.3
Shred all credit card offers, bills, statements and anything else that contains personal
information
Follow up if bills or statements do not arrive on time
Deposit outgoing mail in post office collection boxes rather than unsecured mail boxes
Contact the post office and request a vacation hold when unable to pick up mail
Do not leave mail in an unsecured mailbox overnight or for a long period of time
Keep your username and password protected. Use a password that is a combination of
words, numbers, and symbols (Do not use names, birthdays, anniversaries, address, etc.)
Do not write down usernames and passwords where they can easily be found
Verify the source of any email asking for personal information by calling the company to
confirm the email is from them and not a potential identity thief using their name; also,
check on the company with the Better Business Bureau
Verify the source of any phone call asking for personal information by calling the
company to confirm the phone call is from them and not a potential identity thief using
their name. Use the phone number listed on your account statement or in the telephone
book
Use anti-virus and anti-spyware software and update them regularly
Do not click on links found in pop-up ads
Only download software from trusted websites
Set web browser security to medium-high or high
Keep operating system and web browser software updated
Do not give out any personal information unless making a purchase
Watch for clues that might indicate a computer is infected with spyware. such as a
stream of pop-up ads, unexpected toolbars or icons on the computer screen, keys that
don't work, random error messages, and sluggish performance when opening programs
© Family Economics & Financial Education – Revised May 2010 – Consumer Protection Unit – Identity Theft– Page 3
Funded by a grant from Take Charge America, Inc. to the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences Take Charge America Institute at The University of Arizona
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Social Networks,
Blogs, & Chat rooms
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Internet Purchases
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Credit Reports
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Social Security
Number
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or saving files
If it is suspected that a computer is infected with spyware, immediately stop shopping,
banking or doing any other online activity that involves user names, passwords, or other
sensitive information. Then, confirm that the security software is active and current and
run it to scan the computer for viruses and spyware, deleting anything the program
identifies as a problem
Consider joining only sites that limit access to posts to a defined group of users; make
sure you know how the site access works before joining; don’t join sites that allow
anyone to view postings
Never post your full name, Social Security Number, bank or credit card information,
address, or phone number
Avoiding posting information that could be used to indentify you offline such as school,
work, or other locations where you spend time
Use privacy settings to restrict who can access personal sites
Remember that once information is posted online, it cannot be taken back; even if
information is deleted, older versions may still exist on other people's computers and be
circulated online
Only post information that you are comfortable with anyone viewing
Look for “https” or a picture of a lock after the URL or in the bottom right hand corner
indicating the site is secure
Do not give any personal information (name, address, credit card number, Social
Security number, etc.) on a site if it is not secure (does not begin “https” or have a picture
of a lock)
Enter the website address yourself rather than following a link from an e-mail or internet
advertisement
Select passwords that do not contain easily available information such as birthdates,
maiden name, children’s names, etc; do not write passwords down where they can easily
be found
Use a credit card instead of a debit card when making online purchases
Check credit reports with each of the three reporting agencies at least once a year, this
can be done for free at www.annualcreditreport.com.
ƒ The three credit reporting bureaus are Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian.
ƒ Consumers receive one free credit report from each of the credit reporting
agencies every year, so ordering one credit report from one of the credit
reporting agencies every four months will keep consumers up to date and
constantly alerted to their credit report status
Immediately dispute any wrong information
Shred credit reports or store in a safe place where others cannot easily access them
Memorize Social Security number
Keep Social Security card in a safe place (do not carry it in wallet)
Only give a Social Security number when absolutely necessary;When asked, inquire why
it is needed, and how it will be protected; employers and depository institutions need
Social Security numbers for taxes, other business may ask for a Social Security number
to do a credit check or for record keeping.
In general, these key guidelines should always be followed to minimize the risk of identity theft:
ƒ Protect your Social Security number. Only give it out to trusted organizations and only when absolutely
necessary.
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Keep usernames and passwords safe. Never give them out and choose a combination of letters, numbers,
and symbols that are not easily identified. Use different usernames and passwords for different sites and
change them regularly.
Select security check questions with answers only you would know (do not use mother’s maiden name,
school name, etc.).
Don't give out personal information over the phone, through the mail, or on the Internet unless you've
initiated the contact and are sure you know who you're dealing with.
Check credit reports for errors at least once a year with all three reporting agencies at
www.annualcreditreport.com. To stay constantly informed of credit report information, request a credit
report from one of the three reporting agency every four months.
Shred all documents that contain personal information or keep in a safe place that no one else has access
to.
Be careful using the Internet. Only give out personal information when making a purchase and only on a
secure site.
Protect your identity. Search your name occasionally to see if your name, picture, or other information is
being used by someone else. You can also request a copy of your driver’s license record for a fee.
Recognizing Identity Theft
Early detection is key with identity theft. The earlier an identity theft is discovered the quicker the fraudulent
activity can be stopped. Watch out for these signs of identity theft:
ƒ New accounts or charges that you did not make;
ƒ Calls from collection agencies;
ƒ Being denied credit when you do not believe there is reason to be;
ƒ Missing bills or mailed statements;
ƒ Incorrect information on your credit report.
What to Do if Identity Theft Happens:
Identity theft can happen no matter how careful a person may be. If a person believes he/she may be a victim, they
should follow these basic rules:
1. Act immediately to prevent any further damage and limit personal liability.
2. Keep a detailed record of all correspondence and phone records including the date, contact person, and any
specific comments made or actions which will occur. Follow up all communication with letters sent via certified
mail, return receipt requested, so you can document what was received and when.
3. Contact the three major credit bureaus (Equifax – www.equifax.com, TransUnion – www.transunion.com,
and Experian – www.experian.com) and request a free “fraud alert” be added to the victim’s credit report. A
fraud alert will warn potential creditors to verify an individual’s identity before issuing credit. There are two
types of fraud alerts and both are free to consumers. An initial fraud alert may be requested if a consumer has
been or believes they will be a victim of identity theft. Initial fraud alerts last for 90 days. After the 90 days have
expired, an extended fraud alert may be added to the credit report of the victim. An extended fraud alert will last
7 years and may be requested by a victim of identity theft with an Identity Theft Report, such as a police report
or a complaint filed with the FTC.2 Once a fraud alert has been added to a credit report, consumers are entitled
to one free credit report from each of the reporting agencies. Once the credit reports are received, they should be
reviewed very carefully and checked to ensure accuracy.
4. Close all accounts which have been opened fraudulently or tampered with. If accounts have been
fraudulently opened or contain fraudulent charges, file a dispute with the company. When opening new
accounts, use different passwords and PIN numbers. Once the dispute has been settled with the company, ask
for a letter explaining that the fraudulent debts have been discharged and the disputed account has been closed.
This letter can help with resolving problems related to the account on the credit report.1
5. File a police report with the local police or in the local community where the theft took place.
© Family Economics & Financial Education – Revised May 2010 – Consumer Protection Unit – Identity Theft– Page 5
Funded by a grant from Take Charge America, Inc. to the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences Take Charge America Institute at The University of Arizona
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6. File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission; this can be done at the FTC’s website:
https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/.
Personal Liability:
Credit Cards – The Truth in Lending Act limits a person’s liability for unauthorized credit card charges to $50.00
per card. To take advantage of this law, a person must write a letter within 60 days of the first bill containing the
error. If an individual’s card has been stolen, it should be reported and canceled immediately. If an individual’s credit
card number is used fraudulently, but the credit card itself is not used, the individual has no personal liability.2
ATM & Debit Cards– The Electronic Funds Transfer Act provides protection for ATM and debit cards. The
amount a person is liable for depends upon how quickly he/she reports the loss. If a person reports a lost or stolen
card within two days, they are liable for a maximum of $50.00. Within 60 days, a person is liable for up to $500.00.
After 60 days, a person may be liable for all of the money. A person should always telephone the depository
institution then follow up in writing to report any losses. The consumer is not liable for any fraudulent charges made
after a debit or ATM card has been reported stolen.
Checks – Stop payment immediately and ask the depository institution to notify the check verification service. Most
states hold the depository institution responsible for losses of a forged check if the person notifies the bank within a
reasonable time.
Identity Theft Protection Products and Services:
Many banks and other companies offer identity theft protection for a fee. This fee is usually between $5.00 and
$35.00 a month, depending on the amount of services provided. These agencies cannot prevent identity theft
completely. They closely monitor credit reports, credit scores, and personal information on the internet and alert the
consumer whenever a change, such as a new credit inquiry, occurs in an effort to catch identity theft as early as
possible. Many companies place a fraud alert on file, remove the consumer’s name from the marketing list for
prescreened credit card offers, and have credit reports sent to the consumer. Most of these services individuals can do
on their own at no cost; however, many consumers use these services because of their convenience. These services
also assist in resolving any problems that identity theft may cause by contacting credit card companies, banks, and
document issuing companies on behalf of the consumer. Many organizations also offer identity theft insurance
which limits the liability to the consumer if they are victims of identity theft by reimbursing them for some or all out
of pocket expenses caused by the theft.2 When considering one of these services make sure to research what exactly
they cover and check with the Better Business Bureau, consumer protection agency, and state Attorney General to
see if there are any complaints against the company on file.1
In this lesson, participants will learn how identity thieves obtain personal information, and how thieves use this
information to cause harm. Participants will also learn how to minimize the risk of identity theft, how to detect
identity theft if it does occur, and how to minimize loss if identity theft does occur.
Body
*Note to educator: The facilitation of the Identity Theft 1.3.1 lesson involves the Mystery of the Stolen Identity
Acts 1 and 2 skit 1.3.1.J1 and Mystery of the Stolen Identity Act 3 skit 1.3.1.J2. Participants listen to or watch Act 1
and Act 2 of the skit throughout the lesson. Act 1 and Act 2 present information that help to solve the mystery of a
stolen identity. Act 3 of the skit reveals the identity of the thief at the end of the lesson. Therefore, Mystery of the
Stolen Identity Act 3 skit 1.3.1.J2 should be kept secret until the very end of the lesson. The Identity Theft
PowerPoint presentation 1.3.1.G1 guides the educator through this facilitation.
Educators have the following facilitation options:
• Option 1: Chosen participants can act out the skit for the remaining participants.
© Family Economics & Financial Education – Revised May 2010 – Consumer Protection Unit – Identity Theft– Page 6
Funded by a grant from Take Charge America, Inc. to the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences Take Charge America Institute at The University of Arizona
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o *Note to educator: If facilitation option 1 is chosen, prepare for the skit before the lesson by
choosing participants to play each of the characters along with selecting costumes (if desired).
Provide participants with only Mystery of the Stolen Identity Act 1 and 2 skit 1.3.1.J1.
Option 2: Participants can read the skit to each other in small groups.
o *Note to educator: If facilitation option 2 is chosen, provide participants with only Mystery of the
Stolen Identity Act 1 and 2 skit 1.3.1.J1
Option 3: Community members, parents, teachers, or drama club members can act out the skit for the
participants.
*Note to educator: Prior to beginning the lesson, print enough Identity Theft note taking guides 1.3.1.L1 for each
participant. Print and cut the Solve the Mystery for Lucy activity cards1.3.1.H1.
1. Begin the lesson with Act 1 of the Mystery of the Stolen Identity Act 1 and 2 skit 1.3.1.J1 using your chosen
facilitation method.
2. Once Act 1 of the Mystery of the Stolen Identity Act 1 and 2 skit 1.3.1.J1is completed, pass out an Identity
Theft note taking guide 1.3.1.L1 to each participant.
3. Present the Identity Theft PowerPoint presentation 1.3.1.G1.
a. Slide 2: Solve the Mystery
i. Discuss participants’ current views and thoughts regarding identity theft.
1. Ask participants to share their definitions of identity theft.
2. Ask participants if they know anyone who has been a victim of identity theft.
3. Ask each participant to write their own definition of identity theft on their Identity
Theft note taking guide 1.3.1.L1.
b. Slide 3: Identity Theft
i. Discuss the FTC’s definition of identity theft.
ii. Ask participants if they know what the FTC is, and discuss the FTC’s basic duties.
iii. Ask participants to record the FTC’s definition of identity theft in their Identity Theft note
taking guide 1.3.1.L1 and compare it to their personal definition of identity theft.
c. Slide 4: Identity Theft Statistics
i. Ask participants to guess the answer to each statistic.
ii. Explain to participants that anyone, regardless of age, is subject to being an identity theft
victim.
d. Slide 5: Identity Theft
i. Explain to participants that identity theft can cause many problems for the victims.
ii. Discuss the statistics regarding the amount of time and money that identity theft can cost
victims.
e. Slide 6: Personal Information
i. Ask participants to identify forms of personal information on their Identity Theft note
taking guide 1.3.1.L1.
ii. Compare their responses to the PowerPoint.
f. Slide 7: Personal Information
i. Ask participants to search their wallets, purses, and backpacks for all of the personal
information they are carrying with them.
1. Most likely this personal information will be found on cell phones, driver’s licenses,
checkbooks, debit cards, ATM cards, credit cards, insurance cards, and social
security cards.
a. *Note to educator: Consumer protection advocates advise that individuals
should never carry their Social Security card with them at all times. Social
security cards should be kept in a safe place.
© Family Economics & Financial Education – Revised May 2010 – Consumer Protection Unit – Identity Theft– Page 7
Funded by a grant from Take Charge America, Inc. to the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences Take Charge America Institute at The University of Arizona
1.3.1
2. Discuss the different forms of identification, and advise participants to minimize
the amount of personal information that they regularly carry with them.
3. If possible, repeat this activity in three days to see if participants have succeeded in
minimizing access to personal information.
g. Slide 8: Personal Information
i. As a class, brainstorm daily activities that require an individual to share personal
information with others.
4. Slide 9: Solve the Mystery
a. Facilitate Act 2 of the Mystery of the Stolen Identity Act 1 and 2 skit 1.3.1.J1.
b. Instruct participants to take notes regarding Lucy’s case throughout Act 2 of the skit.
i. Page two of the Identity Theft note taking guide 1.3.1.L1 is provided as a template for
taking notes.
ii. Instruct participants to make note of each suspect, as well as the evidence for and against
their innocence. Also, instruct participants to record the potentially dangerous actions that
Lucy completed to make herself subject to identity theft.
5. Continue the Identity Theft PowerPoint presentation 1.3.1.G1.
a. Slide 10: How do They Do It?
i. As a class, discuss the various ways that each of the four suspects may have retrieved Lucy’s
personal information in order to steal her identity.
b. Slide 11 and 12: How Do They Do It?
i. Discuss the methods that thieves use to steal personal information and commit identity
theft.
ii. Ask participants which method each of the four suspects is accused of using to steal Lucy’s
identity.
c. Slide 13: What Identity Thieves Do With Information
i. Explain to participants once a thief receives personal information, they can use the
information to do many different malicious activities.
ii. Discuss how the identity thief was able to use Lucy’s credit card to make their own
purchases.
d. Slide 14: What Identity Thieves Do With Information
i. Brainstorm a list of what thieves can do if they obtain an individual’s personal information.
ii. Record some of these malicious activities on the Identity Theft note taking guide 1.3.1.L1.
e. Slide 15: Preventing Identity Theft
i. Explain to participants that identity theft cannot be eliminated but steps can be taken to
help prevent it from occurring.
ii. Ask participants to brainstorm what Lucy could have done to help prevent identity theft
from happening to her.
f. Slide 16-28: Preventing Identity Theft
i. *Note to educator: Pages 3 and 4 of the Identity Theft information sheet 1.3.1.F1 can be
used in replace of slides 16-28 to discuss and summarize the preventing identity theft
information.
ii. Discuss and summarize the various ways to minimize identity theft risk for each of the
information sources provided.
iii. Participants will record one preventative tip for each information source on their Identity
Theft note taking guide 1.3.1.L1.
g. Slide 29: 3 Credit Reporting Agencies
i. Inform participants of the names of the three credit reporting agencies.
ii. Make sure participants know that they can order a credit report from any of the three
agencies at www.annualcreditreport.com
© Family Economics & Financial Education – Revised May 2010 – Consumer Protection Unit – Identity Theft– Page 8
Funded by a grant from Take Charge America, Inc. to the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences Take Charge America Institute at The University of Arizona
1.3.1
h. Slide 30-31: Preventing Identity Theft
i. Discuss the key guidelines that can help individual’s minimize the risk of identity theft.
i. Slide 32: Recognizing Identity Theft
i. Ask participants how Lucy first determined that her identity had been stolen.
ii. Discuss how Lucy could have discovered the theft earlier.
j. Slide 33: Recognizing Identity Theft
i. Ask participants to brainstorm other identity theft detection signs. Share these answers
with the class.
ii. Discuss the identity theft warning signs.
k. Slide 34: What to do if Identity Theft Happens
i. Ask participants what Lucy did when she discovered her identity had been stolen.
ii. Discuss what Lucy should have done when she discovered her identity had been stolen.
1. Write these items on the board
l. Slide 35-36: What to do if Identity Theft Happens
i. Discuss the six steps that victims of identity theft should take once they realize their
identity has been stolen.
ii. Compare these steps to those written on the board.
iii. Record the correct steps on the Identity Theft note taking guide 1.3.1.L1.
m. Slide 37: Deter, Detect, Defend- Avoid Identity Theft
i. *Note to educator: If personal, real-life stories have been shared during the lesson, then this
video may not be necessary
ii. Watch the FTC’s “Deter, Detect, Defend- Avoid Identity Theft” video by following the
link below. The video is approximately 10 minutes long.
1. http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/video/avoid-identity-theftvideo.html
2. *Note to educator: A free DVD of the FTC’s “Deter, Detect, Defend- Avoid
Identity Theft” video can be ordered at the following website under the “Order Free
Education Materials” section: http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/contact.shtm#publications
3. This video reviews basic concepts presented throughout the lesson, as well as shares
stories from real-life identity theft victims.
iii. Discuss the various stories shared by victims during the video.
n. Slide 38: Personal Liability
i. Explain to participants that there are laws to protect identity theft victims from having to
pay for all fraudulent purchases made under their name
ii. Discuss personal liability for fraudulent charges made on credit cards.
o. Slide 39: Personal Liability
i. Discuss personal liability for fraudulent charges made on ATM and debit cards.
p. Slide 40: Personal Liability
i. Discuss personal liability for fraudulent checks.
q. Slide 41: Identity Theft Protection
i. Explain to participants that there are products that offer identity theft protection to
consumers.
ii. Discuss the services that identity theft protection programs can provide.
iii. Make sure participants understand that most of the services identity theft protection
programs provide can be completed for no cost by the consumer.
r. Slide 42: Identity Theft Protection, Cont.
i. Explain to participants that the cost of identity theft protection varies depending on the
amount of services provided.
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1.3.1
ii. Discuss how identity theft protection cannot eliminate identity theft, it can only help
prevent it from occurring.
s. Slide 43: Identity Theft Protection, Cont.
i. Ask participants to brainstorm the pros and cons of purchasing identity theft protection.
t. Slide 44: Identity Theft Insurance
i. Explain to participants that identity theft insurance is another product offered to
consumers.
ii. Discuss the services provided by identity theft insurance.
u. Slide 45: “Solve the Mystery For Lucy” Activity
i. Conduct the Solve the Mystery for Lucy activity. Questions and answers for the “Solve the
Mystery For Lucy” Activity are found on the Solve the Mystery for Lucy activity answer key
1.3.1.K1.
1. Divide participants into four total groups (the number of participants in each group
does not have to be equal).
2. Each group will take turns verbally answering a question about identity theft.
3. Group members are allowed to discuss the answer to the question amongst each
other.
4. If the question is answered correctly, the group will receive one Solve the Mystery
for Lucy activity card 1.3.1.H1 that contains a clue to help reveal Lucy’s identity
thief.
5. If the question is answered incorrectly, play will move on to the next group and the
group that answered incorrectly will not receive a clue.
6. Play will continue until all 12 clues have been won. Each group will have at least 3
chances to receive a Solve the Mystery for Lucy activity card 1.3.1.H1 clue.
v. Slide 46: Who Did It?
i. Once the “Solve the Mystery for Lucy” Activity is complete and all Solve the Mystery for
Lucy activity card 1.3.1.H1 clues have been distributed, discuss each of the four suspects
and the evidence against them.
ii. Each group can submit their guess for who they believe is the real identity thief by writing
the suspects name along with the evidence against them on the Identity Theft note taking
guide 1.3.1.L1.
iii. Once all groups have submitted their guesses, ask each group to share the extra clues they
received in the “Solve the Mystery for Lucy” activity.
6. Slide 47: Solve the Mystery
a. Facilitate Act 3 of the Mystery of the Stolen Identity Act 3 skit 1.3.1.J2.
i. *Note to educator: If participants are acting out the skit, the instructor should now provide
the Inspector and Lucy with their lines for Act 3.
ii. The real identity thief is revealed during Act 3.
iii. At the end of Act 3, reveal which groups guessed the correct identity thief, and discuss how
they came to decide on that suspect.
Conclusion
Protecting Your Identity worksheet 1.3.1.A1.
OR
Complete the What Would Lucy Do? Scenario activity 1.3.1.H2. Divide participants into small groups. Hand out
two What Would Lucy Do? Scenario cards 1.3.1.H2 to each group and have them determine what Lucy should do
for the situation. Ask each group to share their response with the rest of the class.
© Family Economics & Financial Education – Revised May 2010 – Consumer Protection Unit – Identity Theft– Page 10
Funded by a grant from Take Charge America, Inc. to the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences Take Charge America Institute at The University of Arizona
1.3.1
OR
Catch Me If You Can active learning tool 5.0.43
Assessment
Hand out the Identity Theft Interview Questions 1.3.1.A2 and Identity Theft Interview Essay Rubric 1.3.1.B1.
Have participants interview an individual to determine their identity protection knowledge. Participants should then
write a one page essay about the identity protection knowledge of the individual they interviewed based upon the
requirements on the Identity Theft Interview Essay Rubric 1.3.1.B1.
Or
Complete the Identity Theft Education project 1.3.1.B2. In this project, the educator has the choice to have
participants complete a commercial, song, or brochure educating others about identity theft.
Or
Internet Safety Ideas enhancement tool 6.3.1
Materials
Protecting Your Identity Worksheet – 1.3.1.A1
Identity Theft Interview Questions – 1.3.1.A2
Identity Theft Interview Essay Rubric – 1.3.1.B1
Identity Theft Commercial Rubric – 1.3.1.B2
Identity Theft Song Rubric – 1.3.1.B3
Identity Theft Brochure Rubric – 1.3.1.B4
Identity Theft Education Topic Ideas handout 1.3.1.E1
Identity Theft information sheet – 1.3.1.F1
Identity Theft PowerPoint presentation – 1.3.1.G1
Solve the Mystery for Lucy activity cards1.3.1.H1
What Would Lucy Do? Scenario cards – 1.3.1.H2
Mystery of the Stolen Identity Skit Acts 1 and 2 – 1.3.1.J1
Mystery of the Stolen Identity Skit Act 3 – 1.3.1.J2
Identity Theft Education Project instructions – 1.3.1.J2
Solve the Mystery for Lucy activity answer key – 1.3.1.K1
Identity Theft note taking guide – 1.3.1.L1
Resources
1. Federal Trade Commission – Fight Back Against Identity Theft
http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/index.html
• This federal agency website provides detailed information on the prevention and detection of
identity theft as well as resources on what to do if your identity is stolen.
2. Federal Trade Commission – Consumer Protection
• This federal agency website provides consumer protection information as well as tips for filing a
complaint.
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Funded by a grant from Take Charge America, Inc. to the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences Take Charge America Institute at The University of Arizona
1.3.1
3. OptOutPrescreen.com
• This is the official website to Opt-out of prescreened credit or insurance offers.
4. OnGuard Online – Spyware
http://www.onguardonline.gov/topics/spyware.aspx
• Tips from the federal government on protecting personal information online
5. www.consumeraction.gov
ƒ This service is provided by the Federal Citizen Information Center of the U.S. General Services
Administration.
6. www.pueblo.gsa.gov
ƒ The Consumer’s Resource Handbook available on this government Web site lists local, state, and federal
agencies, major trade associations, and consumer groups.
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1.3.1.L1
Note taking guide
Identity Theft Note Taking Guide
71
Name___________________
Total Points Earned
Total Points Possible
Percentage
Date___________________
Class__________________
What is Identity Theft?
My definition:
Federal Trade Commission definition:
Identity thieves obtain personal
information in order to steal a
person’s identity
What daily activities require
an individual to share
personal information?
•
Personal
Information
•
•
© Family Economics & Financial Education – Revised May 2010 – Consumer Protection Unit – Identity Theft– Page 13
Funded by a grant from Take Charge America, Inc. to the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences Take Charge America Institute at The University of Arizona
1.3.1.L1
Note taking guide
“Solve the Mystery for Lucy” Notes
Record the potentially dangerous actions Lucy
completed to make herself subject to identity
theft.
List the potential suspects in the identity theft
crime below. What evidence has the inspector
gathered for and against each suspect’s
innocence?
EVIDENCE
Suspect #1 ______________________
EVIDENCE
Suspect #2 ______________________
What should have Lucy done differently to
protect her identity?
EVIDENCE
Suspect #3 ______________________
EVIDENCE
Suspect #4 ______________________
EVIDENCE
Suspect #5 ______________________
EVIDENCE
Suspect #6 ______________________
© Family Economics & Financial Education – Revised May 2010 – Consumer Protection Unit – Identity Theft– Page 14
Funded by a grant from Take Charge America, Inc. to the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences Take Charge America Institute at The University of Arizona
1.3.1.L1
Note taking guide
How Do They Do It?
Identity thieves obtain personal information through many different methods.
Describe each method below.
Stealing
Diverting
Mail
Dumpster
Diving
Skimming
Phishing
Pretexting
Spyware
Hacking
What Thieves Do With Information
Once an identity thief obtains an individual’s personal information, the thief can use that
information to do many malicious things. Describe some of these malicious acts below.
© Family Economics & Financial Education – Revised May 2010 – Consumer Protection Unit – Identity Theft– Page 15
Funded by a grant from Take Charge America, Inc. to the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences Take Charge America Institute at The University of Arizona
1.3.1.L1
Note taking guide
Preventing Identity Theft
Identity theft cannot be eliminated, but there are actions that can be taken to minimize risk. List
ONE preventative measure for each information source below.
INFORMATION
ONE PREVENTION TIP
Wallets and Purses
Credit and Debit Cards
Credit Card Offers
Mail
Email
Telephone
Computer Security
Social Networks, Blogs,
and Chat Rooms
Internet Purchases
Social Security Number
Credit Reports
What are the key guidelines to preventing identity theft?
© Family Economics & Financial Education – Revised May 2010 – Consumer Protection Unit – Identity Theft– Page 16
Funded by a grant from Take Charge America, Inc. to the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences Take Charge America Institute at The University of Arizona
1.3.1.L1
Note taking guide
Recognizing Identity Theft
Signs of
identity
theft
What To Do If Identity Theft Happens
Victims of identity theft should follow these basic rules:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
© Family Economics & Financial Education – Revised May 2010 – Consumer Protection Unit – Identity Theft– Page 17
Funded by a grant from Take Charge America, Inc. to the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences Take Charge America Institute at The University of Arizona
1.3.1.L1
Note taking guide
Personal Liability
Describe an individual’s personal liability for fraudulently used
credit cards, ATM and debit cards, and checks.
ATM & Debit
Cards
Checks
Credit
Cards
Identity Theft Protection
Services:
Identity Theft
Insurance
Identity Theft
Protection
Services:
Cost:
Choosing insurance:
Who Did It?
Who is Lucy’s identity thief?
Write the suspect’s name along with why you chose that suspect below.
Suspect:
Evidence:
© Family Economics & Financial Education – Revised May 2010 – Consumer Protection Unit – Identity Theft– Page 18
Funded by a grant from Take Charge America, Inc. to the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences Take Charge America Institute at The University of Arizona
1.3.1.K1
Activity Answer Key
Solve the Mystery For Lucy
Directions:
1. Divide participants into four total groups (the number of participants in each group does not have to be
equal).
2. Each group will take turns verbally answering a question about identity theft.
3. Group members are allowed to discuss the answer to the question amongst each other.
4. If the question is answered correctly, the group will receive a Solve the Mystery for Lucy activity card
1.3.1.H1 clue that will help reveal Lucy’s identity thief.
5. If the question is answered incorrectly, play will move on to the next group and the group that answered
incorrectly will not receive a Solve the Mystery for Lucy activity card 1.3.1.H1 clue.
6. Play will continue until all 12 clues have been won. Each group will have at least 3 chances to receive a clue.
Questions and Answers:
1. Name three types of personal information.
a. Name, address, telephone number, social security number, drivers license number, birth date, credit
card numbers, bank account numbers
2. Name two activities that require an individual to share personal information.
a. Answers may vary. Examples include making a purchase with a check, credit card, or debit card,
applying for a credit card or loan, online or telephone shopping, paying bills through the mail or
online, or going to the doctor.
3. Where should outgoing mail be deposited?
a. In a secure post office box.
4. What are three ways personal information can be used fraudulently?
a. Information identity thieves acquire can be used in numerous ways including to apply for new
driver’s license, to open new bank and credit accounts, to apply for credit cards or store credit
accounts, to obtain cash with bank cards, to get a job, to take out student loans, to rent an
apartment, to make retail purchases, to get a phone or other utilities, to file bankruptcy, to
counterfeit checks, or to give a person’s name during an arrest
5. Describe two methods that thieves use to acquire personal information?
a. Stealing, diverting mail, dumpster diving, skimming, phishing, pretexting, spyware, and hacking.
6. What is the minimum amount of time that a person should check his/her credit report?
a. At least one time per year.
7. What should a person do if he/she receives a pre-approved credit card and does not want to use it?
a. Pre-approved credit card offers should be shredded.
8. There are six steps victims should follow once they realize their identity has been stolen. Name two of these
steps.
a. Act immediately
b. Keep a detailed record of all correspondence
c. Contact the three major credit reporting agencies
d. Close all accounts which have been opened fraudulently or tampered with
e. File a police report with the local police
f. File a complaint with the FTC
9. If an ATM or debit card is stolen, the amount of money an individual is liable for depends upon what? (1
point)
a. How quickly the victim reports the loss.
© Family Economics & Financial Education – Revised May 2010 – Consumer Protection Unit – Identity Theft– Page 19
Funded by a grant from Take Charge America, Inc. to the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences Take Charge America Institute at The University of Arizona
1.3.1.K1
Activity Answer Key
10. Name 2 items that should never be stored in a purse or wallet?
a. Social security cards, passports, and birth certificates.
11. Should a credit card or debit card be used when making online purchases?
a. Credit card
12. What are two of the warning signs of identity theft?
a. New accounts or charges that you did not make;
b. Calls from collection agencies;
c. Being denied credit when you do not believe there is reason to be;
d. Missing bills or mailed statements;
e. Incorrect information on your credit report.
13. What is the Federal Trade Commission?
a. An agency of the U.S. government that primarily focuses on consumer protection.
14. What dollar amount is a person liable for with unauthorized credit card charges that are reported within 60
days of receiving the first credit card bill?
a. $50.00
15. Name two information sources that should NOT be used as a password, PIN number, or security question.
a. Birthdates, mother’s maiden name, addresses, anniversaries, and phone numbers.
16. Name two tips for protecting your identity when using social networking sites, blogs, and chat rooms on the
Internet.
a. Only join sites that limit access to posts to a defined group of users
b. Never post your full name, Social Security number, bank or credit card information, address, or
phone number.
c. Avoiding posting information that could be used to identify you offline such as school, work, or
other locations where you spend time.
d. Use privacy settings to restrict who can access personal sites.
e. Remember that once information is posted online, it cannot be taken back. Even if information is
deleted, older versions may still exist on other people's computers and be circulated online.
f. Only post information that you are comfortable with anyone viewing.
17. Name one pro and one con of purchasing identity theft protection.
a. Pros- Convenient, saves time
b. Cons- Cost, most of the services offered can be completed by the consumer for no cost
18. What is identity theft insurance?
a. It limits the liability to the consumer if they are victims of identity theft by reimbursing them for
some or all out of pocket expenses caused by the theft.
19. Name the three credit reporting agencies.
a. Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion
20. What should an individual sign on the back of debit and credit cards?
a. Their signature and “Please See ID”
© Family Economics & Financial Education – Revised May 2010 – Consumer Protection Unit – Identity Theft– Page 20
Funded by a grant from Take Charge America, Inc. to the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences Take Charge America Institute at The University of Arizona
1.15.2.A1
Worksheet
Protecting Your Identity Worksheet
47
Total Points Earned
Total Points Possible
Percentage
Name___________________
Date___________________
Class___________________
Directions: Define the following terms. (1 point each)
1. Identity Theft
2. Federal Trade Commission
Directions: Complete the following questions.
3. What are three examples of personal information? (3 points)
4. What are three ways personal identification information can be used fraudulently? (3 points)
5. A unique password includes what type of combination? (1 point)
6. Identify three ways to prevent ATM, credit, or debit cards from being used fraudulently. (3 points)
7. What are three tips for making safe internet purchases? (3 points)
© Family Economics & Financial Education – Revised May 2010 – Consumer Protection Unit – Identity Theft– Page 21
Funded by a grant from Take Charge America, Inc. to the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences Take Charge America Institute at The University of Arizona
1.15.2.A1
Worksheet
8. What are three safety tips when using social networks, blogs, and chat rooms on the Internet? (3 points)
9. What are two ways to keep a social security number safe? (2 points)
10. What are three warning signs of identity theft? (3 points)
11. If a person is a victim of identity theft, what are the six steps to follow? (6 points)
12. What dollar amount is a person liable for with unauthorized credit card charges? (1 point)
13. What is the difference between identity theft protection and identity theft insurance? (2 points)
Directions: Match the following methods thieves use to commit identity theft with the correct description. (1 point
each)
D. Phishing
G. Spyware
A. Diverting Mail
E. Pretexting
H. Stealing
B. Dumpster Diving
F. Skimming
C. Hacking
14. ____Thieves steal information that is carelessly discarded into the trash.
15. ____Thieves break into a computer system and steal information.
16. ____Thieves use false pretenses to obtain personal information from depository institutions, telephone
companies, and other sources.
17. ____Thieves access personal information by obtaining personal records from a workplace, tax information,
bank or credit card statements, or pre-approved credit card offers from the mail.
18. ____Thieves attach a device to card processors to obtain credit or debit card information.
© Family Economics & Financial Education – Revised May 2010 – Consumer Protection Unit – Identity Theft– Page 22
Funded by a grant from Take Charge America, Inc. to the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences Take Charge America Institute at The University of Arizona
1.3.1.A1
Worksheet
19. ____Software installed on a computer, without the owner’s knowledge or consent, that monitors internet
use, sends pop-up ads, re-directs the computer to other sites, and tracks key strokes.
20. ____Thieves complete a change of address form and have a victim’s bills and statements mailed to a
different location.
21. ____Thieves use a form of electronic communication (usually e-mail) to pretend to be a company or
financial institution in order to get the victim to give up their personal information.
Directions: For the following questions, please indicate if the statement is True or False by writing a T or F on the
line. (1 point each)
22. _____ Identity thieves cannot obtain a job under another person’s identity.
23. _____ There is no absolute way to avoid identity theft, but many steps can be taken to minimize risk.
24. _____ Consumers are entitled to one free credit report a year from each of the three credit reporting
agencies.
25. _____ When a consumer pays for identity theft protection, he/she is receiving specialized services that can
only be completed by companies offering identity theft protection.
26. _____ Outgoing mail should be deposited in post office collection boxes rather than unsecured mail boxes.
27. _____ Social Security cards, passports, and birth certificates are safe if they are stored in a wallet or purse.
28. _____ ATM and Debit cards reported within two business days of discovering a theft or loss are not liable
for any fraudulent charges.
© Family Economics & Financial Education – Revised May 2010 – Consumer Protection Unit – Identity Theft– Page 23
Funded by a grant from Take Charge America, Inc. to the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences Take Charge America Institute at The University of Arizona
1.3.1.A2
Worksheet
Identity Theft Interview Questions
Name___________________
Date___________________
Class___________________
Directions: Interview an adult using these questions. If the interviewee doesn’t know the answer to a question, feel
free to kindly inform them of what you learned in class. Following the interview, write a one page essay about the
identity protection knowledge of the interviewee using the interview rubric.
1. What do you think identity theft is?
2. What information do you have in your wallet or purse that an identity thief could use?
3. How can a thief use this information?
4. What is a credit report used for?
5. Where do you suggest that people keep their credit card numbers?
6. Do you keep your ATM, credit and debit card receipts? Why or why not?
7. Do you check the receipt charges with the charges on your monthly statement?
8. Have you ever found a fraudulent charge on your bank statement?
9. Do you destroy pre-approved credit card applications? Is so, why?
10. Have you ever used your credit card for unsolicited phone purchases?
11. Do you know what a secure browser is? If so, why is it important for Internet purchases?
© Family Economics & Financial Education – Revised May 2010 – Consumer Protection Unit – Identity Theft– Page 24
Funded by a grant from Take Charge America, Inc. to the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences Take Charge America Institute at The University of Arizona
1.3.1.B1
Rubric
Identity Theft Interview Essay Rubric
Name:
Date:
Directions:
1. Write a one page, typed, double-spaced, 12-font with 1-inch margins essay on the identity protection
knowledge of the individual you interviewed as well as what you were able to teach the interviewee. The
essay should include at least three items that were learned or taught during the interview.
Exemplary - 3
The essay indicates
at least 3 items that
were learned or
taught during the
interview
Content
Content
Writing Skills
Presentation
and
Completion
The essay is well
organized and
contains accurate
quotations and
facts taken from
the interview.
Sentences are
fluent and effective.
Very few errors in
mechanics,
punctuation, and
word usage.
Assignment is
easily read and
neatly assembled
with an
introduction, body
and conclusion.
Presentation
quality is excellent.
Satisfactory - 2
The essay
indicates two
items that were
learned or taught
during the
interview.
The essay
contains accurate
facts taken from
the interview.
Sentences are
usually controlled.
There are minor
errors in
mechanics,
punctuation, and
word usage.
Assignment is
adequate.
Answers may be
missing,
incomplete or too
brief. Presentation
quality is
adequate.
Unsatisfactory - 1
The essay does not
indicate at least two
items that were learned
or taught during the
interview.
Rating
Weight
3
The essay is lacking
facts and quotations
from the interview OR
the quotes and facts are
not accurately
reported.
Sentences are generally
adequate. There are
lapses in mechanics,
punctuation, and
grammar.
3
Assignment is
incomplete. Answers
show lack of attention.
Presentation is sloppy.
2
Score
2
Total Points Earned
Total Points Available
Percentage
© Family Economics & Financial Education – Revised May 2010 – Consumer Protection Unit – Identity Theft– Page 25
Funded by a grant from Take Charge America, Inc. to the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences Take Charge America Institute at The University of Arizona
30
1.3.1.J2
Project Instructions
Identity Theft Education
Overview:
The Federal Trade Commission estimates that as many as 9 million Americans have their identities stolen each year.1
Therefore, it is important to educate consumers about the many aspects of identity theft. In the Identity Theft Education
project, participants must create a commercial, song, or brochure that will educate others about the many aspects of
identity theft. For ideas on identity theft education topics refer to the Identity Theft Education Topic Ideas handout
1.3.1.E1. Refer to the project options below for descriptions of each project.
*Note to educator: The commercial and song project options are best completed as a group project. The brochure project
option is best completed as an individual project.
Project Options:
Commercial
*Note to educator: Identity theft commercials are available at the following websites to show as examples for this project.
http://www.fightidentitytheft.com/citibank-idtheft-commercials.html
http://www.youtube.com –
Search words:
• “Citibank Identity Theft Commercials”
• “Farmers Insurance Identity Theft Commercials”
• “2009 Audi Q5 Identity Theft Commercials”
1.
2.
3.
4.
Participants will create a commercial that educates consumers on a minimum of one identity theft topic.
The commercial must be at least one minute long.
All group members must have a role in the creation and presentation of the commercial.
By discretion of the educator, the commercials may be acted out in front of a “live” audience, or the commercials may
be recorded and played back later.
5. Refer to the Identity Theft Education Commercial rubric 1.3.1.B2 for project grading descriptions
Song
1. Participants will create a song that educates consumers on a minimum of one identity theft topic.
2. The song must be at least one minute long.
3. All group members must have a role in the creation and presentation of the song.
4. Participants can choose to create their own background music, utilize existing background music, or have no
background music.
5. By discretion of the educator, the songs may be sung in front of a “live” audience, or the songs may be recorded and
played back later.
6. Refer to the Identity Theft Education Song rubric 1.3.1.B3 for project grading descriptions.
Brochure
1. This brochure may be created by both writing and drawing information and pictures on a piece of 8 and ½ by 11
paper or by creating a brochure on the computer.
2. The brochure must include answers to 4 of the following 6 questions in either bulleted or paragraph form:
a. What is identity theft?
b. How can thieves get an individual’s information?
c. What should an individual do if they are a victim of identity theft?
d. How can individuals protect themselves?
e. If an individual’s identity is stolen, what are they liable for?
f. What are the three credit reporting agencies and why are they important?
3. The presentation of the brochure should be creative, including color, graphics, and a title that will attract people to
read the brochure.
4. Refer to the Identity Theft Education Brochure rubric 1.3.1.B4 for project grading descriptions.
© Family Economics & Financial Education – Revised May 2010 – Consumer Protection Unit – Identity Theft– Page 26
Funded by a grant from Take Charge America, Inc. to the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences Take Charge America Institute at The University of Arizona
1.3.1.E1
Handout
Identity Theft Education Topic Ideas
1. What is identity theft?
2. Personal information
a. Types of personal information
b. Daily transactions that require consumers to share information
3. What identity thieves can do once they steal a consumers identity
4. Methods identity thieves use to steal identities
a. Participants could focus on one specific method or all methods for their commercial
5. Identity Theft Prevention
a. Participants could focus on one specific prevention method or describe a variety of prevention
methods
6. Credit Reporting Agencies
a. What are the three credit reporting agencies?
b. How to order a credit report
7. How to recognize identity theft
8. What to do if identity theft happens
9. Personal liability for fraudulent charges
10. Identity Theft Protection and Insurance
© Family Economics & Financial Education – Revised May 2010 – Consumer Protection Unit – Identity Theft– Page 27
Funded by a grant from Take Charge America, Inc. to the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences Take Charge America Institute at The University of Arizona
1.3.1.B2
Rubric
Identity Theft Commercial Rubric
Name:
Content
Accuracy of
Information
Group
Cooperation
Presentation
Quality of
Work
Date:
Exemplary - 3
The commercial
educated the public on
more than the
minimum of one
identify theft topic.
The commercial
included accurate
information regarding
identity theft.
Participants worked
exceptionally well as a
group.
All group members
played a role in the
presentation of the
commercial.
The final commercial
exceeds expectations
and reflects excellent
work and effort by the
participant.
Satisfactory - 2
The commercial
educated the public on
a minimum of one
identify theft topic.
Unsatisfactory - 1
The commercial did not
educate the public on a
minimum of one identity
theft topic.
Rating
Weight
3
The commercial
included mostly
accurate information
regarding identity theft.
Participants worked
well as a group.
The commercial did not
include accurate information
regarding identity theft.
3
Participants did not work
well as a group.
3
Only half of the group
members played a role
in the presentation of
the commercial.
The final product
meets expectations and
reflects high-quality
work and effort by the
participant.
Less than half of group
members played a role in the
presentation of the
commercial.
The final product does not
meet expectations and
reflects low-quality work
and effort by the participant.
3
Score
3
Total Points Earned
Total Points Available
Percentage
© Family Economics & Financial Education – Revised May 2010 – Consumer Protection Unit – Identity Theft– Page 28
Funded by a grant from Take Charge America, Inc. to the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences Take Charge America Institute at The University of Arizona
45
1.3.1.B3
Rubric
Identity Theft Song Rubric
Name:
Content
Accuracy of
Information
Group
Cooperation
Presentation
Quality of
Work
Date:
Exemplary - 3
The song educated the
public on more than the
minimum of one
identify theft topic.
The song included
accurate information
regarding identity theft.
Participants worked
exceptionally well as a
group.
All group members
played a role in the
presentation of the
song.
The final song exceeds
expectations and
reflects excellent work
and effort by the
participant.
Satisfactory - 2
The song educated the
public on a minimum
of one identify theft
topic.
The song included
mostly accurate
information regarding
identity theft.
Participants worked
well as a group.
Only half of the group
members played a role
in the presentation of
the song.
The final song meets
expectations and
reflects high-quality
work and effort by the
participant.
Unsatisfactory - 1
The song did not educate
the public on a minimum of
one identity theft topic.
Rating
Weight
3
The song did not include
accurate information
regarding identity theft.
3
Participants did not work
well as a group.
3
Less than half of group
members played a role in the
presentation of the song.
3
The final song does not
meet expectations and
reflects low-quality work
and effort by the participant.
3
Total Points Earned
Total Points Available
Percentage
© Family Economics & Financial Education – Revised May 2010 – Consumer Protection Unit – Identity Theft– Page 29
Funded by a grant from Take Charge America, Inc. to the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences Take Charge America Institute at The University of Arizona
Score
45
1.3.1.B4
Rubric
Identity Theft Brochure Rubric
Name:
Date:
Content
Accuracy of
Information
Exemplary - 3
The brochure
identifies and
answers all four
questions assigned.
The brochure
includes accurate
information
regarding identity
theft.
Presentation
The brochure is very
creative and includes
color, graphics, and
a catchy title.
Grammar
Sentences are fluent
and effective. No
errors in mechanics,
punctuation, and
word usage.
Organization
Assignment is easy
to read and neatly
assembled.
Satisfactory - 2
The brochure
answers three or
more of the six
questions assigned.
The brochure
includes mostly
accurate
information
regarding identity
theft.
The brochure lacks
creativity and is
missing color,
graphics, or a
catchy title.
Sentences are
usually controlled.
There are minor
errors in
mechanics,
punctuation, and
word usage.
Assignment is
adequate. Answers
may be missing,
incomplete or too
brief.
Unsatisfactory - 1
The brochure answers
less than three of the six
questions assigned.
Rating
Weight
3
The brochure does not
include accurate
information regarding
identity theft.
3
The brochure displays
very little creativity and
is missing color,
graphics, or a title.
3
Sentences are generally
adequate. There are
lapses in mechanics,
punctuation, and
grammar.
3
Assignment is
incomplete. Answers
show lack of attention.
3
Total Points Earned
Total Points Available
Percentage
© Family Economics & Financial Education – Revised May 2010 – Consumer Protection Unit – Identity Theft– Page 30
Funded by a grant from Take Charge America, Inc. to the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences Take Charge America Institute at The University of Arizona
Score
45
1.3.1.J1
Activity Instructions
Mystery of the Stolen Identity Skit
Acts 1 and 2
Cast:
Inspector—dressed as a detective
Miss Scarlet—dressed in a bright red evening gown; very glamorous
Mrs. White—wearing white
Mrs. Peacock—wearing blue; work in a peacock feather into her hat
Mr. Green—wearing a green shirt
Col. Mustard—wearing military looking clothing and a shirt that is golden in color
Professor Plum—looking a bit nerdy and wearing a purple shirt
Unlucky Lucy—the guest of the group; dressed in pink: she is clueless and very frail
Setting:
A 20 year class reunion is taking place at a luxurious mansion located in Yonkers.
Act 1:
(Inspector opens the skit by addressing the audience)(Lucy stands beside the Inspector looking distraught)
Inspector: Welcome and thank you for coming to assist me. It is my wish that we had been able to meet under
happier circumstances. You see, there has been a crime committed. As this day progresses you will learn all of
the terrible details of this incident, and you will also meet some of the suspects. Please make sure to take very
accurate notes in your Identity Theft note taking guide about the victim, the suspects, and the witnesses to solve
the mystery about identity theft.
Let me begin with a brief overview of the case, and let you meet our victim. Her name is Lucy, although around
the station she has gained the nickname of “Unlucky Lucy” since she has been through this terrible ordeal. Lucy
has been a victim of identity theft. I know, I know, many of you are thinking that this is a victimless crime—that
really, nobody is hurt, since the depository institutions, credit card companies and insurance companies all
simply absorb the losses, but that is a terrible inaccuracy. Not only is it frightening and horribly inconvenient
for the victims, tax dollars are lost investigating and prosecuting this crime, and ultimately, consumers pay the
price for these losses through higher fees at retailers and banks. But I digress; you must want to meet Lucy.
Lucy: Oh, inspector! Thank you so much for your hard work to help solve the crime! I’ve been simply ill since
the whole ordeal started and I just want to see justice done! That evil, awful, vile creature who has stolen my
identity must be caught and punished! But, inspector, I am not quite sure I understand what identity theft is.
Inspector: Lucy! Identity theft was the largest consumer fraud complaint reported to the Federal Trade
Commission in the year of 2008! Audience, can you help explain to Lucy what identify theft is, and why it is
considered a crime?
© Family Economics & Financial Education – Revised May 2010 – Consumer Protection Unit – Identity Theft– Page 31
Funded by a grant from Take Charge America, Inc. to the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences Take Charge America Institute at The University of Arizona
1.3.1.J1
Activity Instructions
Act 2:
Part 2 opens with Lucy in a panic.
Lucy: Oh, Inspector, I had no idea! I am afraid that I have not been protecting my personal information very
well!
Inspector: Now, now, Lucy, pull yourself together so that we can get to the bottom of this! Explain to the
audience exactly what has happened to you these past few days.
Lucy: Now, let’s see…it all began when I first arrived at the mansion on Wednesday. I was so happy to see my
friends from school! It had been ages since we’d all been together. Colonel Mustard was so good to pick me up
at the airport in his giant truck, although his driving habits were a little scary.
Col. Mustard: (enters) Did I hear someone mention my name? Did you want to go hunting and ride in my
brand new 4x4? We could trap some giant bears and kill our dinner! Ahh, I certainly do miss those days in the
army when we were out in the field and depended on nobody but ourselves to find dinner! None of these
conveniences, like running water or electricity! No sirreee! Those were the good old days!
Inspector: Yes, Colonel. I do remember hearing some of those stories the first time that we talked. Those exact
same stories, as a matter of fact…..It’s a good thing you are here, as Lucy and I were just discussing the
unfortunate theft of her identity. It seems that someone has taken her personal information and used it to
benefit themselves in many illegal ways…..Lucy, how was it you told me you first realized the problem?
Lucy: Well, inspector, if you must know, I was shopping at the mall when my credit card was declined! Can you
imagine my humiliation? I had finally found the perfect dress for the class reunion, along with shoes, handbag,
and jewelry. When I gave the clerk my credit card, she made a phone call, then cut it up into pieces, right in
front of me! Oh, I feel faint!!!
Colonel Mustard: Look here, Inspector. I don’t know what your problem is, but look how upset you’ve made
poor Lucy. Do you have any leads in the crime yet? Any suspects? Just what are you doing to rectify this
situation?
Inspector: Well, it appears that someone has been using Lucy’s credit card to make their own purchases. I do
have a few suspects in mind. Since you brought up the topic, can you account for your whereabouts since Lucy
has arrived?
Colonel: YOU have the audacity to question ME as a suspect? What nerve! There is a criminal lurking among
us who is taking personal information from innocent civilians and you are wasting your time asking where I was
during the crime?
Inspector: Um, yep. That about sums it up. So, where were you?
Colonel: I AM INSULTED! I DON’T HAVE TO TAKE THIS FROM YOU!!
Inspector: You still haven’t answered my question, Colonel. If you are innocent, you really don’t have anything
to hide, do you? I do have here in my notes that Lucy had asked you to drop off some outgoing mail for her on
Thursday morning. Can you confirm that?
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Activity Instructions
Colonel: Of course! When we were in the conservatory, Lucy told me she had some bills she needed to mail
and as I was headed to town to purchase more bullets, I offered to drop those off.
Inspector: Yes, bills…..bills which had checks in the envelopes?
Lucy: Yes, why?
Inspector: And bills with your account numbers for credit cards?
Lucy: Yes, why?
Inspector: My dear Lucy, one of the most common methods of identity theft is for the criminal to simply get
into one’s mailbox. Think about it, companies mail a statement to you, you send a check back with a portion of
the statement. The check has your bank account number; the statement has your credit card number. Before
long, some thieves even will visit the post office and fill out a change of address form and have your account
information sent to another address!
Lucy: So how do I mail my bills? I have to pay them!
Inspector: Simply drop by the post office to mail documents that contain personal information, or find one of
the big blue mailboxes to drop your mail in. As for you, Colonel, please do not leave town until we have cleared
up this matter, and, I’d appreciate it if you would turn over your arsenal of weapons, just to be safe.
Colonel: WHAT DO YOU MEAN? THOSE GUNS ARE LIKE FAMILY TO ME! I SIMPLY WILL
NOT TURN THOSE OVER TO SOMEONE WHO WON’T CARE FOR THEM LIKE ME! (storms
off to the side)
Inspector: Ahh, that went well (writes notes in notebook) Ahh, so far we have placed Col. Mustard in the
conservatory, possibly with mail fraud….
Lucy: Oh, inspector, you don’t think my friend the Colonel had anything to do with this?
Inspector: More often than not, the thief actually is someone close to the victim who has access to the personal
information needed to commit identity theft. I worked a case last year where a woman even opened a credit card
using her brother’s personal information. He had no idea there was an account in his name until she fell behind
on the payments and the collectors began calling him for payments!
Lucy: Oh, my, this is worse than I thought. I feel faint!
Inspector; Now, now, pull yourself together! We’ll get to the bottom of this!
(Mrs. Peacock and Mrs. White enter the room gossiping. They stop talking and giggling when they see Lucy
and the inspector)
Lucy: Oh, hello, Mrs. Peacock and Mrs. White. How are you today?
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Activity Instructions
Mrs. Peacock: Oh, dear, hello! We’re just fine. How are you holding up? We heard the terrible news. It’s
tragic, just tragic!
Mrs. White: Yes, terribly tragic! Just remember that if there is anything we can do to help, just let us know.
Mrs. Peacock: Yes, dear, anything at all, don’t hesitate to tell us. I don’t care what those people say about you,
we are here to help you if we can at all…
Lucy: What people? What are they saying? What are you talking about? Oh, I feel faint…
Inspector: Ladies, ladies, thank you for stopping by….do you have a moment for a few questions?
Mrs. White: Oh, well, not really, we are late for Bunco…You know, I’m the regional champ and have been
undefeated this year! Gotta run!
Inspector: Not so fast. We have some serious questions that must be answered in order to solve this case! Can
the two of you tell me about your activities for the last two days?
Mrs. Peacock: Certainly, inspector. Anything we can do to help. Let’s see, I remember when Colonel Mustard
and Lucy returned from the airport. We were so happy to see her again…it’s been too long, dear. You can’t stay
away so long next time. We spent quite a bit of time in the hall, reminiscing with some old photo albums and
yearbooks in the library. My, that was a wonderful time!
Lucy: Oh, yes, that was grand. Remember the photos from summer camp and the neighborhood when we were
kids? It was great to take a trip down memory lane. I hadn’t seen any photos with my old dog, Spot, in so long! I
couldn’t believe there was one of him in the photo album.
Mrs. Peacock: Oh, yes, Spot. He was a good dog.
Inspector: Spot, eh? Lucy, can I ask you an important question now? Most accounts require a four digit PIN
number for security. You didn’t by chance use the digits 7768 to correspond with a telephone keypad so that
SPOT helped you remember your PIN number?
Lucy (shocked): OMG Inspector! How did you know that?
Inspector: One of the most common security mistakes is to use one’s pet’s name, phone number, street number,
date of birth, child’s name, or mother’s maiden name as security questions or pin numbers on accounts. People
do it all the time because it’s easy for them to remember, but it’s also easy for the criminals to figure out the PIN
number when they steal your debit or credit card. These are numbers and words common to a person’s life, and
if they know you or where you live, it isn’t really hard to figure them out.
Lucy: Oh, no, MORE of my friends that I can’t trust?
Inspector: I would trust no one, at this point, Lucy. Mrs. White, you don’t seem to have much to say. Can you
tell us about your schedule since Wednesday when Lucy came to town?
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Activity Instructions
Mrs. White: Well, there isn’t much to tell. I have spent most of my time the past few days preparing meals and
cleaning up so that we could all enjoy some of the excellent dishes I’ve learned how to cook since I’ve become an
avid Rachael Ray fan…she has some of the best recipes!!!
Inspector: So, you’ve spent a lot of time in the kitchen? Has anyone been helping you?
Mrs. White: Oh, no, Inspector. I just love trying out the new recipes and everyone was having such a great time
catching up. It was just simply easier to do it myself. No worries!
Inspector: Thank you, ladies, good luck at Bunco. You are free to go.
Mrs. White & Mrs. Peacock: Thank you, Inspector. Have a fine day!
Inspector: And you as well (as they are leaving he writes more in his notebook) so, now we have placed Mrs.
Peacock in the hall, and Mrs. White in the kitchen.
Lucy: Whatever do you mean? These are my friends, inspector! They would not betray me!
Inspector: You are welcome to think delusional thoughts if you like, Lucy, but my job is to solve the crime and
everyone in my handy dandy notebook is guilty until proven innocent!
Lucy: Oh, my, I feel faint…what can you want with Mrs. White? She was so busy preparing our wonderful
meals….you really should try her Chicken Parmesan, it is to die for!
Inspector: That’s all I need next, a murder! Lucy, think about it, where did you throw away the remains of the
mail you sent? Do you still have them or did you throw the statements into the trash in the kitchen? Where
Mrs. White has been all week?
Lucy: Oh, my, I never thought of that before….
Inspector: And if you are anything like so many of the rest of us, you’ll receive 2-3 pre-approved credit
applications each week. Where do you think those will end up?
Lucy: In…..the…….trash?
Inspector: You bet and if the information is not shredded before you throw it away, identity thieves can do a
little dumpster diving and bingo, they have all the information they need to open a new account for their use
with your name right on it! That’s why it is so important to use a shredder when you have any papers
containing personal information.
Lucy: Oh, Inspector. This is horribly distressing…….
(Professor Plum walks in)
Professor: Inspector, Lucy, good day to all. Has there been any progress in the case?
Inspector: Actually, we are right now interviewing suspects and witnesses and organizing our information.
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1.3.1.J1
Activity Instructions
Professor: You, sir, are in luck! I am extremely organized and happy to help resolve this case! What can I do to
help?
Inspector: Could you account for your whereabouts since Wednesday?
Professor: Whatever do you mean? Are you seriously considering me as a suspect?
Inspector: At this point we are questioning many people. So, your whereabouts?
Professor: If you must know, I have been in the library, working feverishly on a new research project! By this
time next week, I will have disproven Einstein’s theory of relativity!
Lucy: Oh, my, that is wonderful, professor! I had no idea that is what you were up to! I recalled seeing you in
the library as I was checking my email and online banking….
Inspector: Yes, so, you were in the library. Did you use a computer?
Professor: Of course I did.
Inspector: And would that be the same computer Lucy had used earlier in the day to check her accounts?
Professor: Well, there is only the one computer in the library, we all must share it, even if it means waiting for
Lucy to finish tweeting, posting on walls in facebook, and all her other mindless social media duties!
Inspector: I see.
Lucy: I see…
Professor: I must be off to check on my experiments!! Please, do contact me if I can help with this terrible
ordeal!
Inspector and Lucy: Have a great day, Professor.
Inspector: (marking in notebook) That puts Professor Plum at the library, with a computer.
Lucy: OH NO! NOT HIM TOO!!
Inspector: Lucy, are you kidding? Technology is wonderful, but is also one more avenue for identity theft. Did
you close the browser after you checked your accounts?
Lucy: Ummm, IDK.
Inspector: Of course you don’t. If the browser isn’t closed, the next person on the computer can simply go back
to where you were and they have access to all your account information. Don’t forget about phishing and other
fraudulent emails!
© Family Economics & Financial Education – Revised May 2010 – Consumer Protection Unit – Identity Theft– Page 36
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1.3.1.J1
Activity Instructions
Lucy: Fishing? Sounds like something the Colonel would love!
Inspector: Not fishing with an “f”, Lucy, phishing with a “ph”.
Lucy: Oh, no, inspector. You probably should look into hooked on phonics.
Inspector: No, no, Lucy. Phishing is when emails are sent requesting personal information or account numbers.
Thieves are “fishing” for any information they can get in order to steal your identity.
Lucy: Oh, this is terrible….no wonder I haven’t received my check from that ambassador in Nigeria yet. What
is this world coming to, Inspector?
(Miss Scarlet walks in)
Miss Scarlet: Oh, hello, darlings. Lucy, I was so sorry to hear of your terrible incident. If there is anything at all
I can do, please don’t hesitate to let me know.
Lucy: Oh, thank you, Miss Scarlet. That is so very kind of you.
Inspector: As a matter of fact, we do have a few questions you could answer. What have your activities been
since Wednesday?
Miss Scarlet: Of course, darling. Yes, well, when Lucy came to the mansion, the rest of the classmates
welcomed her back with a reception in the billiards room, but unfortunately I had a horrible migraine and was
ill in my room.
Inspector: So you never attended the reception?
Miss Scarlet: Yes, that is correct darling. I was unable to attend. So very ill I was.
Lucy: Yes, I remember that…you had a headache. The rest of us missed you. Are you feeling better yet?
Miss Scarlet: Why yes, darling, I am much better now. Although the doctor did tell me to be sure to rest, so I
must be going now.
Inspector: Of course you will.
Lucy: Goodbye, Miss Scarlet!
(Miss Scarlet leaves the stage)
Inspector: Clearly, Miss Scarlet cannot be ruled out. She has no witnesses to substantiate her alibi. She could
easily be the culprit!
Lucy: Surely not, Inspector!
© Family Economics & Financial Education – Revised May 2010 – Consumer Protection Unit – Identity Theft– Page 37
Funded by a grant from Take Charge America, Inc. to the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences Take Charge America Institute at The University of Arizona
1.3.1.J1
Activity Instructions
Inspector: Don’t be so naïve, Lucy! She wasn’t at the reception and has no one to back up her story that she was
sick in her room. According to my notes, here, (look through notepad) you received a phone call during the
reception from your bank, is that correct?
Lucy: Yes, it is but I don’t see where you are…
Inspector (interrupting): And what did your bank want, Lucy? Why were they calling you?
Lucy: Oh, that was nothing, inspector. They just wanted to verify my PIN number and account number. The
caller was so very sweet and had to confirm my information due to some sort of computer problem they’d had
recently….
Inspector: Oh, Lucy, you didn’t give the caller your information, did you?
Lucy: Um, well, yes, of course I did.
Inspector: Of course you did (rolls his eyes). Lucy, really, don’t you know that your bank will not call you to
obtain that information! You should never give that information out over the telephone! How do you know
who exactly was calling? There is no way to know who you gave that information to!
Lucy: Oh, no, you don’t think that……
Inspector: Lucy, let me be very clear to you. Never give out account information, pin numbers, or social security
numbers to anyone! With just that simple information anyone could open accounts in your name and leave you
with wrecked credit and hours of work to do in order to get the problems all straightened out. You must protect
your personal information!
Mr. Green (walks in): Lucy, Inspector, good day. How is the investigation coming along?
Lucy: Oh, Mr. Green. This day just keeps getting more and more complicated. Is there no one I can trust?
Mr. Green: That is horrible to hear, Lucy. What can I do to help?
Inspector: I do have a few questions, if you have time to answer them, Mr. Green.
Mr. Green: Of course I can answer some questions. Anything to help find and punish the criminal in this case.
Inspector: Excellent. Now, can you tell me where you were and what you did Wednesday evening?
Mr. Green: Well, of course I attended the reception in Lucy’s honor, and afterwards I well, I met a friend in the
ballroom, if you must know.
Inspector: A friend, you say?
Lucy: Oooh, Mr. Green....that sounds so very romantic...is it anyone I know?
Mr. Green: Well, yes, I mean no. I mean...
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1.3.1.J1
Activity Instructions
Inspector: Which is it? Yes or no?
Lucy: Oh, no, not you, too. All of my friends have betrayed me, it seems....whatever will I do!!!
Mr. Green: ITS NOT WHAT YOU THINK! STOP JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS!!! Oh, if you
must know, I was in the ballroom
Inspector and Lucy: Yes, go on
Mr. Green: With....
Inspector and Lucy: Yes, go on
Mr. Green: Miss Scarlet was giving me dancing lessons in the ballroom! There, now, are you happy? The
surprise is ruined!!
Inspector: What surprise?
Lucy: Yes, what surprise?
Mr. Green: Lucy, I was trying to learn some salsa moves to impress you. I know that back in school you never
really noticed me but spent all of your time following around Professor Plum like he had discovered plutonium
or something....this was finally my chance to get your attention, and now look at how it has all turned out.
Lucy: Oh, my, Mr. Green, I had no idea how you felt.... (bats her eyes and rubs Mr. Green's arm)
Inspector: Oh, my, salsa lessons? Really? Now that is awkward....
Mr. Green: Yes, it’s true. You can ask Miss Scarlet even, she can confirm my presence there with her.
Inspector: Now then, that will remove two of the potential suspects...leaving us with
Colonel Mustard, in the conservatory;
Mrs. Peacock, in the hall;
Mrs. White, in the kitchen, or
Professor Plum, in the library.
Lucy: Inspector, I just don’t know what to say! I can’t believe one of my friends would betray me in this way!
Inspector: Lucy, there is no need to dwell on what has already occurred. Look on the bright side, we are very
close to determining which of these suspects was the true thief and in the future you will know how to prevent
identity theft and determine when it is occurring.
Lucy: Well, Inspector, that is what I am worried about. I understand what identity theft is and steps that I can
take to prevent it from happening, what I don’t understand is how I could have known that it was happening to
me before I was humiliated in the mall by having my credit card denied? Because after all, it was not like my
purse was stolen from me. I think I would have noticed if my designer bag as well as my wallet was missing!
© Family Economics & Financial Education – Revised May 2010 – Consumer Protection Unit – Identity Theft– Page 39
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1.3.1.J1
Activity Instructions
Inspector: Well, Lucy, being denied credit when you do not believe there is a reason to be is usually a clear sign
that something is wrong. Other ways to recognize identity theft include noticing charges that you did not make
on any of your banking statements, receiving calls from collection agencies, not receiving bills or bank
statements in the mail, or finding incorrect information on your credit report. It is important for individuals to
pay close attention to their credit report and financial statements to ensure that there is nothing out of the
ordinary occurring. And, of course, if your purse or wallet is stolen it is important to take immediate action to
prevent the thief from stealing your identity.
Lucy: So, what should I do if this happens to me again?
Inspector: Lucy, you did the right thing by acting immediately and filing a report with the local police, but
there are other steps that should be taken if you suspect your identity has been stolen. According to the Federal
Trade Commission or FTC, you should contact the three major credit bureaus and request a free “fraud alert”
be placed on your credit report. In addition, you should close all accounts that have been tampered with or
fraudulently opened. Along with filing a complaint with the local police, you should also file a complaint with
the FTC at their website. And, of course, you should keep very accurate records of all the correspondence
between you and all of the other parties involved.
Lucy: Thank you Inspector! I feel so much more knowledgeable regarding identity theft. Now, we have to
discover who the true identity thief is!
(Inspector addresses the audience)
Inspector: Distinguished guests, you must increase your knowledge of identity theft and help Lucy and I solve
this terrible crime. Listen carefully during the rest of this lesson, because later, you will have a chance to receive
more clues regarding this crime and the suspects involved by playing Solve the Mystery for Lucy and testing
your knowledge of identity theft. Make sure to play close attention, so that we can solve the case once the
additional clues have been gathered.
© Family Economics & Financial Education – Revised May 2010 – Consumer Protection Unit – Identity Theft– Page 40
Funded by a grant from Take Charge America, Inc. to the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences Take Charge America Institute at The University of Arizona
1.3.1.J2
Activity Instructions
Mystery of the Stolen Identity Skit
Act 3
Act 3:
(Inspector and Lucy on stage) (Inspector is addressing the audience)
Inspector: Thank you, kind friends, for learning more about identity theft in order to help us resolve this
matter. With your help gathering additional clues, we now know that there is only one true thief in the case of
the stolen identity-it was someone who claimed to be an avid cook, but was really cooking up a scheme for some
easy money. Mrs. White is guilty of identity theft in the kitchen, by doing a little dumpster diving and getting
Lucy's account information from discarded statements and mail. We caught Mrs. White through the lies she
told during her interview. She claimed to be a champion at Bunco and professed her love for cooking and the
cooking diva, Rachel Ray, while in reality, she was using these lies to cover her identity theft. Also, her
persistence to retrieve the mail everyday was a sure fire clue to her guiltiness.
Lucy: Thank you very much for all of your help inspector, and I thank all of you for helping me solve this crime
and regain my identity. I will make sure to guard my identity more closely in the future!
© Family Economics & Financial Education – Revised May 2010 – Consumer Protection Unit – Identity Theft– Page 41
Funded by a grant from Take Charge America, Inc. to the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences Take Charge America Institute at The University of Arizona
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