Privacy, Please! You’re Victim IDENTITY THEFT

Privacy, Please! You’re Victim IDENTITY THEFT
TEEN
If
You’re
A
Victim
GUIDE
IDENTITY THEFT
Did You Know?
• 15% of all ID theft cases are
committed by a close friend or a
family member of the victim.
• 29% of identity theft victims are
between the ages of 18-29.
• Identity theft victims spend an
average of 330 hours over 4-12
months repairing their records.
If your identity is stolen, take action immediately to reduce the damage done to
your credit history or further loss of money from your bank accounts. Ask a trusted
adult or your financial institution for help. Start by taking these five steps:
1. Place a fraud alert on your credit file by calling one of the three
major credit reporting agencies.
2. Get a free credit report.You’re entitled because you have placed a
fraud alert on your file.
3. Close your accounts that have been affected by identity
theft.
4. File a report with the Federal Trade Commission
(FTC) at www.ftc.gov/idtheft
5. File a police report. Provide them with a copy
of your completed FTC complaint form.
You can also visit these sites for step-by-step
information on how to respond:
http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/index.html
http://www.justice.gov/criminal/fraud/websites/idtheft.html
Money Talks…Should I Be Listening? Is a series of teen guides designed for teenagers. The topics and subject matter content are based on the results of a survey completed by teens. The goals of these teen guides are to assist teens in 1) identifying their money spending and saving habits; 2) understanding the importance of long-term
savings, and 3) developing savings plans that meet their lifestyles. Comments regarding these teen guides can be addressed to: Consumer Economics Department,
University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE), 135 Building C, Highlander Hall, Riverside, CA 92521. Author: Katherine Wassenberg, freelance writer. Development
Team: Shirley Peterson, Karen Varcoe, Patti Wooten Swanson, Keith Nathaniel, Margaret Johns, Charles Go, Brenda Roche and the UCCE Money Talks Workgroup; Graphic
Designer: Kerry Decker, UC Riverside. 2009
This publication has been anonymously peer reviewed for technical accuracy by University of California scientists and other qualified professionals. This review process was managed by the ANR Associate Editor for Youth Development.
To simplify information, trade names of products have been used. No endorsement of named or illustrated products is intended, nor is criticism implied of similar products that are not mentioned or illustrated.
ANR Publication 8405
©2009 by the Regents of the University of California
Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
All rights reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the written permission of the publisher and the authors.
The University of California prohibits discrimination or harassment of any person on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, pregnancy (including childbirth, and medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth), physical or mental disability, medical condition (cancer-related or genetic characteristics), ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, citizenship, or service in the uniformed services (as defined by the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994: service in the uniformed services includes membership,
application for membership, performance of service, application for service, or obligation for service in the uniformed services) in any of its programs or activities.
University policy also prohibits reprisal or retaliation against any person in any of its programs or activities for making a complaint of discrimination or sexual harassment or for using or participating in the investigation or resolution process of any such complaint.
University policy is intended to be consistent with the provisions of applicable State and Federal laws.
Inquiries regarding the University's nondiscrimination policies may be directed to the Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Director, University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources, 1111 Franklin Street, 6th Floor, Oakland, CA 94607, (510) 987-0096.
moneytalks4teens.org
How Thieves Work
AND NOW THE NIGHTMARE BEGINS
Keep It Safe!
Should I Be Listening?
Privacy, Please!
You’ve probably heard people talking about
identity theft. Maybe it’s even happened to you
or to someone you know. But what exactly is
identity theft?
Well, it’s when someone steals your personal
info and then uses it to get a credit card, rent
an apartment, get a job, or to commit a crime.
Not only are they pretending to be you, these
thieves also leave you responsible to pay for
their fun and the bills they run up.
This means that even though you didn’t do
anything wrong, you may still suffer the
consequences of their actions. These
consequences can mean paying for stuff you
didn’t buy, being denied school and car loans,
not getting a job, or even being arrested! At
the very least, you will be stressed out and
inconvenienced while trying to prove your
innocence to a credit card company. At the
worst, you could spend years trying to repair
your credit record, job history, and reputation.
Publication 8405
IF YOU’RE A VICTIM
Keep It Safe!
IDENTITY
THEFT
As one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States, identity theft affects 9 million Americans annually,
according to the FTC. Altogether, identity theft victims will lose more than $5 billion dollars this year alone. Being
a teenager doesn’t mean you’re safe. In fact, it means that you are at a greater risk. Since most teens don’t have a
credit record, thieves can open brand new accounts in your name and you won’t even know it. If this happens to
you, you may not find out for years until you try to get a loan. Because you are just starting your credit history,
your whole financial future is at risk. And, if you don’t have a driver’s license, a thief could use your Social
Security number to apply for one, and you’ll only find out when you apply for a driver’s license and are denied.
How High Is My Risk?
This quiz will help you find out just how much you are at risk for identity theft.
Never
Sometimes
Always
1. How often do you throw away or recycle papers that have your personal information on them,
like cash register receipts, pre-approved credit card offers, or your cell phone bill?
Never
Sometimes
Always
2. How often do you use your full name on your online profiles, so that your friends can find you?
Never
Sometimes
Always
3. How often do you finish using someone else’s computer by just closing down the browser
rather than logging out of your email, bank, or social networking accounts?
Yes
No
Not Applicable
4. I check my debit card account activity at least once a week to make sure no one has used my
account illegally.
Easy Ways to Protect Your Identity
1) Use passwords on your laptop, cell phone, and
PDA.
11) Don’t store personal information on a computer
you share with someone else.
2) Use passwords that mix letters, numbers, and
symbols (if allowed).
12) Wipe out your hard drive before you give away an
old computer.
3) Keep passwords secret.
13) Check out website privacy policies to find out if
your information may be shared.
4) Shred loan and credit card applications you get in
the mail.
14) Keep your credit or debit card in sight.
15) Don’t give out personal information or passwords
over the phone when you’re in a public place.
5) Guard personal numbers, like phone numbers,
address, bank account, Social Security, date of
birth, student ID, etc., even from trusted friends or
relatives who don’t need to know this information.
16) Never give out your account numbers to a
telemarketer who calls you (unless you have
requested they contact you).
6) Use a crosscut shredder to destroy documents
with personal numbers.
17) Don’t use your cell phone to give out private
information such as credit card numbers.
7) Regularly check your bank statements for
unauthorized charges.
18) Don't be intimidated if a coach, teacher, youth
group leader or other trusted adult asks for private
information like your drivers’ license, Social
Security or credit card number. Don’t give them the
information. Refer them to a parent or guardian.
8) Don’t write your bank account number on checks
being deposited or cashed.
Yes
No
Not Applicable
5. I have given out my Social Security number on a health form, job application, or to a sports
team official without asking why it was needed.
Yes
No
Not Applicable
6. I take my credit card, debit card, or checkbook with me every time I go out, just in case.
9) Use firewall, antivirus and anti-spyware programs
on your computer.
Yes
No
Not Applicable
7. I’ve shared passwords and account numbers with a few people who are really close to me
because I know I can trust them.
10) Don’t put personal information into your blog or
on social networking sites.
Yes
No
Not Applicable
8. I use file sharing programs to get new music and movies for free.
19) Starting at age 18, request and review free copies
of your credit reports. Get your free reports from
www.annualcreditreport.com
Scoring key on page 3
2
7
And now
the
Nightmare
Begins
Scoring
KEY
Once your information has been stolen, the thief can
sell it to someone else or use your name to:
Open a credit line or get a loan
Start phone service
Start a utility service
Rack up charges on your credit card
Get a driver’s license
Get health care
Receive government benefits
Rent an apartment
Get a job
Empty your bank accounts
Remember:
Always log off
open websites.
Write checks from your account
Avoid a driving ticket or other criminal charge
A Note About Your Social Security Number
You might be surprised how many people will ask for your
Social Security number: schools, banks, potential
employers, doctor’s offices, rental applications, utility
accounts, etc.When someone requests your Social Security
number:
• ask why they want it
• how it will be used
• how it will be protected
• what happens if you don’t give it to them
While employers and financial institutions are required by
law to use your Social Security number, many times you’ll
be able to just leave that line blank. On most job
applications, instead of giving your Social Security number,
write in “available upon hire.”
6
Question 1: Never = 1 point; Sometimes = 2 points; Always = 3 points
Throwing away or recycling private information isn’t enough. Thieves often
look through trash to find information that will help them steal your identity.
Instead, shred documents that contain personal information with a crosscut
shredder.
Question 2: Never = 1 point; Sometimes = 2 points; Always = 3 points
Including information like your full name and date of birth on social
networking sites (or any site for that matter) puts you at greater risk for
identity theft. Instead, use a nickname and let your friends know what you’ve
chosen.
Question 3: Never = 1 point; Sometimes = 2 points; Always = 3 points
If you just close out of a browser, you are not doing enough to protect yourself.
Many sites keep you logged on until you log out. So the next person who uses
the computer could access your private accounts.While your best bet is to
access private information at your own computer, you should manually log off
all sites you enter and delete the browser’s temporary files before you leave
someone else’s computer.
Question 7: Yes = 3 points; No = 1 point; N/A=1 point
Unfortunately, thieves who steal teenagers’ identities are often people the
teenagers know, even trusted family members. So, keep your passwords and
account information private.
Question 8: Yes = 3 points; No = 1 point; N/A=1 point
While file sharing programs may seem like a cheap way to get stuff you want,
they also give other users access to your computer and your files. Even if you
have set up “to share”folders, users may still be able to get to your pictures,
your bank statements, your passwords, everything.When this happens, file
sharing programs can end up costing you a lot of money and time.
Your Score
Enter your score for each of the questions in the boxes below. Subtotal both
columns.Add the subtotals together to get your grand total.
Question 4: Yes = 1 point; No = 3 points; N/A=1 point
Watching your account history closely will let you know right away if someone
has stolen your banking information. The sooner you catch it, the less it will
cost you. If you catch it within two days and notify your bank, then you will
only have to pay up to $50.00. If you notify within 2-60 days, you can be
charged up to $500.And if you don’t notify until after 60 days, you could be
held responsible for the entire amount the thief spends, which could be
thousands of dollars.
Question 5: Yes = 3 points; No = 1 point; N/A=1 point
Your Social Security number can be used by thieves to open credit accounts,
get a driver’s license, and even to get a job. There are only a few cases when
your Social Security number is lawfully needed. So before giving it out ask:
Why it is being requested? What will be done with it? How it will be protected?
For more information, read “A Note About Your Social Security Number”on
page 6.
Question 6: Yes = 3 points; No = 1 point; N/A=1 point
Carrying your credit card, debit card, and checkbook around when you don’t
need them increases your chances of having them lost or stolen. If you’re
going out to a movie or dinner take only the amount of money you plan to
spend. Not only will this keep your bank and credit card accounts safe, it may
help you spend less money, too.
What Does Your Grand Total Mean?
8 - 13 points:Your risk of identity theft seems low,but you can never be too
careful.Read on to see if you can find a few new ways to keep your identity safe.
14 - 19 points: Your risk of identity theft is moderate. This information can
help you find ways to reduce your risk even more.
20 - 24 points: Your risk of identity theft is high, but it’s not too late to start
protecting yourself. The information in this quiz gives some good ideas for
changes you can make to protect yourself. Read the rest of this guide for more
information on how to protect your identity.
3
H ow
How Thieves Work (cont.)
Thieves
Work
Phishing: You’ve probably gotten a phishing email
before. These emails seem like official messages
from a bank or online store asking you to update
your account information; but when you do,
the information goes directly to the thief.
Phishing can also happen over the phone,
as a thief pretends to be a bank officer
calling to discuss your account. If you
think the email or call is valid, always call
them back using a phone number you
know you can trust, like the phone number on the
back of your credit card. Whoever answers the phone
will be able to connect you to the right department.
Thieves basically have two objectives. First, they want
to get private information. Second, they want to use
this information for their own benefit. How do they
get access to information that is supposed to be
private? They steal mail or credit cards and pick
through trash. Read on to find out more about the
many ways a thief can steal your personal
information.
Computer Spyware: Spyware software can be
downloaded onto your computer when you visit web
sites or take your computer in for repairs. This
software allows thieves to record your website history
and everything you type, including account numbers
and passwords.You can protect yourself by installing
virus detection or anti-spyware software onto your
computer and keeping it up to date.
Skimming: This may be the most frequently used
method of credit card fraud. Basically, it’s when you
give your credit card to a waiter, cashier, or doctor’s
office receptionist and they copy your account
information. Thieves may also place a card reader in
the card slider at an ATM machine.Your account
information is recorded when you get money out of
your account. Protect yourself by checking your
account activity often.
Account Redirection: Thieves can go to the post office
and fill out a change of address form to have your mail
sent directly to their address. Or, they can call your
financial institution and tell them that you have
moved. Banks and credit unions will often send out
letters to both addresses, so keep an eye out for this
sort of mail. If you haven’t moved, but you get a letter
from your bank saying your address has been
changed, call your bank ASAP—as soon as possible!
Continued on page 5
Dumpster Diving: This is exactly what it sounds like.
Thieves go “diving” (searching) through dumpsters,
trash cans, recycling bins, and even trash heaps at the
dump. All they need to find is one pre-approved credit
card notice and they can open a credit card account in
your name. But often times they will find much more.
Shred all papers with personal information on them.
4
bank
and other
important institutions
immediately if you suspect your
information has been stolen. Never carry your Social
Security card or number in your wallet or purse. Keep
your card in a secure place and take it out when it is
needed, such as when you are hired for a new job.
Keep a list at home of what is in your wallet or purse
will help you know which companies to call if your
information is stolen.
Pharming: Similar to phishing, pharming attempts to
trick you out of your account or login information.
Thieves create fake websites designed to look like a
bank or online store and then buy domain names
similar to the real web addresses. So when you
accidentally type in the wrong web address, you end
up at the fake site. When you log in, the thieves get
your username and password. If you need to login to
an account, do it directly through the company’s
website, not through an email link.
Shoulder Surfing: By watching you punch in your
calling card number or listening to you give a friend
your address, a thief can get information directly from
you. Look around to make sure no one is listening
before you talk about personal information. Or better
yet, just don’t share your personal information in public.
Wireless Hacking: If you use a wireless internet
connection for your computer or cell phone, you could
be hacked. Thieves look for unsecure connections and
then tap into your information. Often times the thief
will be sitting at the coffee table next to you or sitting
in a car in the parking lot.Your best bet is to simply
avoid accessing personal information if you are using
an unsecured connection.
Stealing: By grabbing your wallet or purse, a thief can
get access to a ton of information very quickly. These
thieves often have an entire network set up to handle
the contents of your purse or wallet, so that within
minutes your credit card can be used or your bank
account emptied. Or a thief can steal your incoming
and outgoing mail from your home mailbox, which
can provide instant access to your account
information and pre-approved credit offers. Call your
5
H ow
How Thieves Work (cont.)
Thieves
Work
Phishing: You’ve probably gotten a phishing email
before. These emails seem like official messages
from a bank or online store asking you to update
your account information; but when you do,
the information goes directly to the thief.
Phishing can also happen over the phone,
as a thief pretends to be a bank officer
calling to discuss your account. If you
think the email or call is valid, always call
them back using a phone number you
know you can trust, like the phone number on the
back of your credit card. Whoever answers the phone
will be able to connect you to the right department.
Thieves basically have two objectives. First, they want
to get private information. Second, they want to use
this information for their own benefit. How do they
get access to information that is supposed to be
private? They steal mail or credit cards and pick
through trash. Read on to find out more about the
many ways a thief can steal your personal
information.
Computer Spyware: Spyware software can be
downloaded onto your computer when you visit web
sites or take your computer in for repairs. This
software allows thieves to record your website history
and everything you type, including account numbers
and passwords.You can protect yourself by installing
virus detection or anti-spyware software onto your
computer and keeping it up to date.
Skimming: This may be the most frequently used
method of credit card fraud. Basically, it’s when you
give your credit card to a waiter, cashier, or doctor’s
office receptionist and they copy your account
information. Thieves may also place a card reader in
the card slider at an ATM machine.Your account
information is recorded when you get money out of
your account. Protect yourself by checking your
account activity often.
Account Redirection: Thieves can go to the post office
and fill out a change of address form to have your mail
sent directly to their address. Or, they can call your
financial institution and tell them that you have
moved. Banks and credit unions will often send out
letters to both addresses, so keep an eye out for this
sort of mail. If you haven’t moved, but you get a letter
from your bank saying your address has been
changed, call your bank ASAP—as soon as possible!
Continued on page 5
Dumpster Diving: This is exactly what it sounds like.
Thieves go “diving” (searching) through dumpsters,
trash cans, recycling bins, and even trash heaps at the
dump. All they need to find is one pre-approved credit
card notice and they can open a credit card account in
your name. But often times they will find much more.
Shred all papers with personal information on them.
4
bank
and other
important institutions
immediately if you suspect your
information has been stolen. Never carry your Social
Security card or number in your wallet or purse. Keep
your card in a secure place and take it out when it is
needed, such as when you are hired for a new job.
Keeping a list at home of what is in your wallet or
purse will help you know which companies to call if
your information is stolen.
Pharming: Similar to phishing, pharming attempts to
trick you out of your account or login information.
Thieves create fake websites designed to look like a
bank or online store and then buy domain names
similar to the real web addresses. So when you
accidentally type in the wrong web address, you end
up at the fake site. When you log in, the thieves get
your username and password. If you need to login to
an account, do it directly through the company’s
website, not through an email link.
Shoulder Surfing: By watching you punch in your
calling card number or listening to you give a friend
your address, a thief can get information directly from
you. Look around to make sure no one is listening
before you talk about personal information. Or better
yet, just don’t share your personal information in public.
Wireless Hacking: If you use a wireless internet
connection for your computer or cell phone, you could
be hacked. Thieves look for unsecure connections and
then tap into your information. Often times the thief
will be sitting at the coffee table next to you or sitting
in a car in the parking lot.Your best bet is to simply
avoid accessing personal information if you are using
an unsecured connection.
Stealing: By grabbing your wallet or purse, a thief can
get access to a ton of information very quickly. These
thieves often have an entire network set up to handle
the contents of your purse or wallet, so that within
minutes your credit card can be used or your bank
account emptied. Or a thief can steal your incoming
and outgoing mail from your home mailbox, which
can provide instant access to your account
information and pre-approved credit offers. Call your
5
And now
the
Nightmare
Begins
Scoring
KEY
Once your information has been stolen, the thief can
sell it to someone else or use your name to:
Open a credit line or get a loan
Start phone service
Start a utility service
Rack up charges on your credit card
Get a driver’s license
Get health care
Receive government benefits
Rent an apartment
Get a job
Empty your bank accounts
Remember:
Always log off
open websites.
Write checks from your account
Avoid a driving ticket or other criminal charge
A Note About Your Social Security Number
You might be surprised how many people will ask for your
Social Security number: schools, banks, potential
employers, doctor’s offices, rental applications, utility
accounts, etc.When someone requests your Social Security
number:
• ask why they want it
• how it will be used
• how it will be protected
• what happens if you don’t give it to them
While employers and financial institutions are required by
law to use your Social Security number, many times you’ll
be able to just leave that line blank. On most job
applications, instead of giving your Social Security number,
write in “available upon hire.”
6
Question 1: Never = 1 point; Sometimes = 2 points; Always = 3 points
Throwing away or recycling private information isn’t enough. Thieves often
look through trash to find information that will help them steal your identity.
Instead, shred documents that contain personal information with a crosscut
shredder.
Question 2: Never = 1 point; Sometimes = 2 points; Always = 3 points
Including information like your full name and date of birth on social
networking sites (or any site for that matter) puts you at greater risk for
identity theft. Instead, use a nickname and let your friends know what you’ve
chosen.
Question 3: Never = 1 point; Sometimes = 2 points; Always = 3 points
If you just close out of a browser, you are not doing enough to protect yourself.
Many sites keep you logged on until you log out. So the next person who uses
the computer could access your private accounts.While your best bet is to
access private information at your own computer, you should manually log off
all sites you enter and delete the browser’s temporary files before you leave
someone else’s computer.
Question 7: Yes = 3 points; No = 1 point; N/A=1 point
Unfortunately, thieves who steal teenagers’ identities are often people the
teenagers know, even trusted family members. So, keep your passwords and
account information private.
Question 8: Yes = 3 points; No = 1 point; N/A=1 point
While file sharing programs may seem like a cheap way to get stuff you want,
they also give other users access to your computer and your files. Even if you
have set up “to share”folders, users may still be able to get to your pictures,
your bank statements, your passwords, everything.When this happens, file
sharing programs can end up costing you a lot of money and time.
Your Score
Enter your score for each of the questions in the boxes below. Subtotal both
columns.Add the subtotals together to get your grand total.
Question 4: Yes = 1 point; No = 3 points; N/A=1 point
Watching your account history closely will let you know right away if someone
has stolen your banking information. The sooner you catch it, the less it will
cost you. If you catch it within two days and notify your bank, then you will
only have to pay up to $50.00. If you notify within 2-60 days, you can be
charged up to $500.And if you don’t notify until after 60 days, you could be
held responsible for the entire amount the thief spends, which could be
thousands of dollars.
Question 5: Yes = 3 points; No = 1 point; N/A=1 point
Your Social Security number can be used by thieves to open credit accounts,
get a driver’s license, and even to get a job. There are only a few cases when
your Social Security number is lawfully needed. So before giving it out ask:
Why it is being requested? What will be done with it? How it will be protected?
For more information, read “A Note About Your Social Security Number”on
page 6.
Question 6: Yes = 3 points; No = 1 point; N/A=1 point
Carrying your credit card, debit card, and checkbook around when you don’t
need them increases your chances of having them lost or stolen. If you’re
going out to a movie or dinner take only the amount of money you plan to
spend. Not only will this keep your bank and credit card accounts safe, it may
help you spend less money, too.
What Does Your Grand Total Mean?
8 - 13 points:Your risk of identity theft seems low,but you can never be too
careful.Read on to see if you can find a few new ways to keep your identity safe.
14 - 19 points: Your risk of identity theft is moderate. This information can
help you find ways to reduce your risk even more.
20 - 24 points: Your risk of identity theft is high, but it’s not too late to start
protecting yourself. The information in this quiz gives some good ideas for
changes you can make to protect yourself. Read the rest of this guide for more
information on how to protect your identity.
3
Keep It Safe!
IDENTITY
THEFT
As one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States, identity theft affects 9 million Americans annually,
according to the FTC. Altogether, identity theft victims will lose more than $5 billion dollars this year alone. Being
a teenager doesn’t mean you’re safe. In fact, it means that you are at a greater risk. Since most teens don’t have a
credit record, thieves can open brand new accounts in your name and you won’t even know it. If this happens to
you, you may not find out for years until you try to get a loan. Because you are just starting your credit history,
your whole financial future is at risk. And, if you don’t have a driver’s license, a thief could use your Social
Security number to apply for one, and you’ll only find out when you apply for a driver’s license and are denied.
How High Is My Risk?
This quiz will help you find out just how much you are at risk for identity theft.
Never
Sometimes
Always
1. How often do you throw away or recycle papers that have your personal information on them,
like cash register receipts, pre-approved credit card offers, or your cell phone bill?
Never
Sometimes
Always
2. How often do you use your full name on your online profiles, so that your friends can find you?
Never
Sometimes
Always
3. How often do you finish using someone else’s computer by just closing down the browser
rather than logging out of your email, bank, or social networking accounts?
Yes
No
Not Applicable
4. I check my debit card account activity at least once a week to make sure no one has used my
account illegally.
Easy Ways to Protect Your Identity
1) Use passwords on your laptop, cell phone, and
PDA.
11) Don’t store personal information on a computer
you share with someone else.
2) Use passwords that mix letters, numbers, and
symbols (if allowed).
12) Wipe out your hard drive before you give away an
old computer.
3) Keep passwords secret.
13) Check out website privacy policies to find out if
your information may be shared.
4) Shred loan and credit card applications you get in
the mail.
14) Keep your credit or debit card in sight.
15) Don’t give out personal information or passwords
over the phone when you’re in a public place.
5) Guard personal numbers, like phone numbers,
address, bank account, Social Security, date of
birth, student ID, etc., even from trusted friends or
relatives who don’t need to know this information.
16) Never give out your account numbers to a
telemarketer who calls you (unless you have
requested they contact you).
6) Use a crosscut shredder to destroy documents
with personal numbers.
17) Don’t use your cell phone to give out private
information such as credit card numbers.
7) Regularly check your bank statements for
unauthorized charges.
18) Don't be intimidated if a coach, teacher, youth
group leader or other trusted adult asks for private
information like your drivers’ license, Social
Security or credit card number. Don’t give them the
information. Refer them to a parent or guardian.
8) Don’t write your bank account number on checks
being deposited or cashed.
Yes
No
Not Applicable
5. I have given out my Social Security number on a health form, job application, or to a sports
team official without asking why it was needed.
Yes
No
Not Applicable
6. I take my credit card, debit card, or checkbook with me every time I go out, just in case.
9) Use firewall, antivirus and anti-spyware programs
on your computer.
Yes
No
Not Applicable
7. I’ve shared passwords and account numbers with a few people who are really close to me
because I know I can trust them.
10) Don’t put personal information into your blog or
on social networking sites.
Yes
No
Not Applicable
8. I use file sharing programs to get new music and movies for free.
19) Starting at age 18, request and review free copies
of your credit reports. Get your free reports from
www.annualcreditreport.com
Scoring key on page 3
2
7
TEEN
If
You’re
A
Victim
GUIDE
IDENTITY THEFT
Did You Know?
• 15% of all ID theft cases are
committed by a close friend or a
family member of the victim.
• 29% of identity theft victims are
between the ages of 18-29.
• Identity theft victims spend an
average of 330 hours over 4-12
months repairing their records.
If your identity is stolen, take action immediately to reduce the damage done to
your credit history or further loss of money from your bank accounts. Ask a trusted
adult or your financial institution for help. Start by taking these five steps:
1. Place a fraud alert on your credit file by calling one of the three
major credit reporting agencies.
2. Get a free credit report.You’re entitled because you have placed a
fraud alert on your file.
3. Close your accounts that have been affected by identity
theft.
4. File a report with the Federal Trade Commission
(FTC) at www.ftc.gov/idtheft
5. File a police report. Provide them with a copy
of your completed FTC complaint form.
You can also visit these sites for step-by-step
information on how to respond:
http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/index.html
http://www.justice.gov/criminal/fraud/websites/idtheft.html
Money Talks…Should I Be Listening? Is a series of teen guides designed for teenagers. The topics and subject matter content are based on the results of a survey completed by teens. The goals of these teen guides are to assist teens in 1) identifying their money spending and saving habits; 2) understanding the importance of long-term
savings, and 3) developing savings plans that meet their lifestyles. Comments regarding these teen guides can be addressed to: Consumer Economics Department,
University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE), 135 Building C, Highlander Hall, Riverside, CA 92521. Author: Katherine Wassenberg, freelance writer. Development
Team: Shirley Peterson, Karen Varcoe, Patti Wooten Swanson, Keith Nathaniel, Margaret Johns, Charles Go, Brenda Roche and the UCCE Money Talks Workgroup; Graphic
Designer: Kerry Decker, UC Riverside. 2009
This publication has been anonymously peer reviewed for technical accuracy by University of California scientists and other qualified professionals. This review process was managed by the ANR Associate Editor for Youth Development.
To simplify information, trade names of products have been used. No endorsement of named or illustrated products is intended, nor is criticism implied of similar products that are not mentioned or illustrated.
ANR Publication 8405
©2009 by the Regents of the University of California
Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
All rights reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the written permission of the publisher and the authors.
The University of California prohibits discrimination or harassment of any person on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, pregnancy (including childbirth, and medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth), physical or mental disability, medical condition (cancer-related or genetic characteristics), ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, citizenship, or service in the uniformed services (as defined by the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994: service in the uniformed services includes membership,
application for membership, performance of service, application for service, or obligation for service in the uniformed services) in any of its programs or activities.
University policy also prohibits reprisal or retaliation against any person in any of its programs or activities for making a complaint of discrimination or sexual harassment or for using or participating in the investigation or resolution process of any such complaint.
University policy is intended to be consistent with the provisions of applicable State and Federal laws.
Inquiries regarding the University's nondiscrimination policies may be directed to the Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Director, University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources, 1111 Franklin Street, 6th Floor, Oakland, CA 94607, (510) 987-0096.
moneytalks4teens.org
How Thieves Work
AND NOW THE NIGHTMARE BEGINS
Keep It Safe!
Should I Be Listening?
Privacy, Please!
You’ve probably heard people talking about
identity theft. Maybe it’s even happened to you
or to someone you know. But what exactly is
identity theft?
Well, it’s when someone steals your personal
info and then uses it to get a credit card, rent
an apartment, get a job, or to commit a crime.
Not only are they pretending to be you, these
thieves also leave you responsible to pay for
their fun and the bills they run up.
This means that even though you didn’t do
anything wrong, you may still suffer the
consequences of their actions. These
consequences can mean paying for stuff you
didn’t buy, being denied school and car loans,
not getting a job, or even being arrested! At
the very least, you will be stressed out and
inconvenienced while trying to prove your
innocence to a credit card company. At the
worst, you could spend years trying to repair
your credit record, job history, and reputation.
Publication 8405
IF YOU’RE A VICTIM
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