Consumer Protection


Identity theft is a crime that occurs when someone uses your personal information without your permission to commit fraud or other crimes ― most commonly to obtain access to credit in your name. Personal information includes:

  • Social Security, driver’s license and personal identification numbers
  • Bank and credit card account numbers
  • Mother’s maiden name or other information used as a security screen
  • Passwords and any information that can be used to gain access to a person’s financial resources or to assume a person’s identity

Identity theft can happen by:

  • Mail ― Looking for red flag up on mailboxes and bill payments
  • Trash ― Digging for discarded receipts, credit card, and bank account statements, credit card applications, etc.
  • Home ― Stealing important documents, such as credit card and bank account statements, checkbooks, Social Security cards, drivers’ licenses, and birth certificates
  • Computers ― Illegally gaining access to computers to steal your personal information, such as following financial transactions
  • Businesses ― Bribing employees who have access to personal information at businesses or data breaches
  • Email phishing ― Posing as a legitimate company, emails request verification of personal information
  • Phone pretexting ― Calling and posing as a legitimate company, requesting you verify personal information, or they may contact an information source, posing as you, seeking personal information
  • Wallet or purse
  • Relatives and friends

Next steps if you are a victim of ID theft