Identity theft is a modern-day phenomenon. According to the Federal Trade Commission, millions of Americans will have their identities stolen this year.

The most common types of identity theft are:


What You Can Do

Look at your credit card and bank account statements. This is usually the first place
unauthorized activity will show up.

Don’t give out personal information on the phone or through the mail unless you initiate the contact or know the caller. Thieves will pose as bank representatives, Internet service providers and government agents to get you to reveal personal information.

Never reveal personal or financial information in response to an e-mail request, no matter who appears to have sent it. No organization, financial institution or government agency will ever ask you to reveal personal information, such as Social Security numbers, account numbers, credit card numbers, PIN numbers, etc. Don’t click on the link in the e-mail. If you are concerned about your account, contact the organization mentioned in the e-mail using a telephone number you know to be genuine or open a new Internet browser session and type in the company’s correct Web address yourself. Don’t cut and paste the link from the message into your Internet browser. Phishers can make links look like they go to one place, but they actually send you to a different site.

Tear or shred any documents that contain personal information. These include credit card receipts, insurance forms, physician and bank statements, and even credit card offers.

Deposit outgoing mail directly into post office boxes, not in your own mailbox. A large
number of thieves search mailboxes for your personal information.

Don’t carry your Social Security card with you, and only carry your ID and a minimum
number of credit cards.

Don’t pre-print your Social Security or driver's license numbers on your checks.

Give out your Social Security number only when absolutely necessary. Ask to use
other identifiers when possible.

Order a copy of your credit reports once a year to verify their accuracy.

For more information about identify theft, contact IT Services at (414) 288-7799 or


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