The Federal Trade Commission is the main resource for preventing identity theft. Identity theft happens when someone uses your personal information (social security number, credit card information, bank accounts) without your permission. This in information is then used to commit fraud and a multitude of other crimes. For more information, pick up "A Guide to Identity Theft" available at the New York State University Police Department or go to the Federal Trade Commission's web-site at: http://www.consumer.gov/idtheft/
- To avoid becoming a victim of identity theft:
- Shred documents with your name and address, account numbers, et cetera, that you no longer need.
- Use secure web-sites when ordering on-line.
- Keep your credit card and bank account information away from others.
- Don't fall for on-line scams or phone calls that ask for personal information such as social security numbers, credit card numbers and account numbers. If you're not sure of the company, don't provide your information. Most banks and legitimate organizations don't ask for that information over the telephone.