IDENTITY THEFT - Financial Aid

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Budgeting for College: IDENTITY THEFT

Andrea Morgan, Gary Moore, and Melissa Greenslade Program Coordinators Office of Financial Aid University of Arkansas

TEST YOUR IDENTITY IQ…

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Identity theft issues are resolved quickly once reported to the authorities.

Placing orders over the Internet can increase your risk of Identity Theft.

Identity theft can ruin your credit.

26% of teens know someone that something bad has happened to because of information or photos posted on-line.

Most thefts occur through electronic exchanges.

50% of identity thefts involve family or friends but only 6% of people believe thefts by family or friends to be likely.

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IDENTITY THEFT STATISTICS

 One in four people are affected by identity theft That’s 10 million American’s each year!!

 34% of identity theft victims are college students  The average out-of-pocket expense for victims is $631  It takes an average of 21 hours to clean up identity theft

WHAT IS IDENTITY THEFT?

 Identity theft occurs when an unauthorized person uses your personal information, like your name, Social Security Number, or credit card number, without your permission.

HOW DO THIEVES STEAL AN IDENTITY?

 Dumpster Diving  Skimming  Phishing  Pharming  Changing Your Address  Old-Fashioned Stealing  Computer Hacking

HOW DO THIEVES USE YOUR IDENTITY?

     Credit Card Fraud  Open a new credit card--delinquent accounts appear on YOUR credit report; change the address on your bills; run up charges on your account Bank/Finance Fraud  Create counterfeit checks; open a bank account in your name and write bad checks; clone your ATM or debit card; take out a loan in your name Identity Cloning  Open new service in your name; get a job using your SSN; rent a house or get medical services in your name; Government Documents Fraud  Get a driver’s license or ID in your name but with their picture; use your name and SSN to get government benefits; file a fraudulent tax return or FAFSA Criminal Identity Theft  Give your personal information to police or when committing a crime

IT’S NOT ALWAYS RANDOM

 Information can be stolen by  Relatives  Friends  Hospitals  Doctor’s Offices  Schools

FINDING OUT IF YOU ARE A VICTIM

 85% of identity theft victims find out that they are victims in a negative way  Contact with collection agencies  Being turned down for credit  Only 15% of victims are alerted to identity theft due to a proactive action taken by a business

SIGNS OF IDENTITY THEFT

      Charges on your account that you didn’t make Suspicious activity on your credit report  Accounts you didn’t open  Fraudulent or inaccurate personal information appears like SSN, address, name, or employers Failing to receive bills or other mail Receiving credit cards you didn’t apply for Being denied credit, or being offered less favorable terms for no apparent reason Getting calls or letters from debt collectors about merchandise or services you didn’t buy

DEFENDING AGAINST IDENTITY THEFT

 If you are a victim of identity theft, take the following actions as soon as possible and keep records of all communications:  Notify and close the accounts you know, or believe, have been tampered with or opened fraudulently and dispute any unauthorized transactions  File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at www.ftc.gov/idtheft or 1-877-ID-THEFT  File an Identity Theft Report with the police  Place a Fraud Alert on your Credit Reports (all 3)  Monitor your financial records for several months after

IDENTITY THEFT REPORT

 A type of police report with specific details relating to identity theft  When filed, an Identity Theft Report will permanently block fraudulent information from appearing on your credit report  Allows you to place an extended fraud alert on your credit report

HOW TO USE AN IDENTITY THEFT REPORT

 File your report with a local, state, or federal law enforcement agency  Send the businesses involved and the credit reporting companies a copy of your Identity Theft Report  Mail using certified mail, return receipt requested  The companies then have 15 days from receiving your report to request more information

FRAUD ALERTS

 Initial Fraud Alert  Extended Fraud Alert

INITIAL FRAUD ALERT

 Stays on your credit report for at least 90 days  File if you believe you may have been the victim of identity theft  Creditors must use “reasonable policies and procedures” to verify your identity before issuing credit in your name  Entitles you to one free credit report from each bureau

EXTENDED FRAUD ALERT

 Stays on your credit report for 7 years  File if you have been the victim of Identity theft and you can provide a copy of the Identity Theft Report  Potential creditors must actually contact you or meet with you in person before they issue credit  Entitles you to two free credit reports per year  Removes your name from marketing lists for 5 years

A CAVEAT ABOUT FRAUD ALERTS

 Fraud alerts will not protect you from a thief using your existing credit cards or other accounts  They will not protect you from a thief opening an account in your name that does not require a credit check  It won’t stop already ongoing identity theft

CREDIT FREEZE

 Most states have the option to put a Credit Freeze on your credit report  Credit Freeze laws vary by state and there may be a fee  This lets you restrict access to your credit report (i.e. for opening new accounts)  Can be temporarily lifted if you need to let someone check your credit report

CREDIT MONITORING

     Multiple companies offer this service Provide updates to customers including information about credit checks and new accounts Receive immediate notification about any suspicious activity on your credit report There are multiple types of monitoring available  Credit reports, public records, credit cards, social security Fees can vary from $5-17

CREDIT MONITORING CONT’D…

 If you are considering one of these services, make sure you understand what you are getting  Some only monitor one of the credit reporting companies  Check the Better Business Bureau (BBB), a consumer protection agency (federal, state, or local), and your state Attorney General’s Office to see if they have any complaints on file

IDENTITY THEFT INSURANCE

 Identity Theft Insurance won’t deter thieves, but it can, in certain circumstances, minimize losses if identity theft occurs  Think about the potential losses vs. coverage available and deductible required  Can often only guide you (as opposed to doing the work) in order to clear your name

PROTECT YOUR: MAIL/DOCUMENTS

      Routinely monitor your financial accounts, billing statements, and your credit report Opt out of pre-approved credit card offers (optoutprescreen.com or 888-567-8688) Use a locked mailbox and stop mail when you are on vacation.

Send important mail from the PO or a USPS mailbox vs. your home mailbox Store info in secure locations Shred paper documents and digital info

PROTECT YOUR: ONLINE IDENTITY

       Never share info if YOU didn’t initiate the transaction Use credit cards vs. debit cards on-line Keep PINs and passwords difficult and to yourself and use different passwords for all Web accounts Use spyware, anti-phishing filters, and anti-virus programs and update regularly Be aware of the security of the network you are using; use secure websites (https) and review a site’s security page for current alerts and steps to take if you become a victim Be aware of the information you are posting online on Facebook, on blogs, etc.

Don’t accept “friend” requests from people you don’t know.

PROTECT YOURSELF, IN GENERAL

      Protect your property and information in general  SS card, seldom used credit cards, checkbook, purse/wallet, computer, cell phone Don’t think that “See I.D.” will stop criminals from using a stolen card Be suspicious of anyone who asks for money Verify circumstances independently—not through the medium requested Keep private in public  Documents, cell phone use, on-line Be aware and on guard

CREDIT REPORTS

     www.annualcreditreport.com

You are entitled to a free credit report from each of the 3 credit reporting agencies once every 12 months Equifax: 1-800-685-1111  www.equifax.com

Experian: 1-888-397-3742  www.experian.com

TransUnion: 1-800-916-8800  www.transunion.com

IDENTITY THEFT RESOURCES

 www.ftc.gov

and defend) (detailed info to help deter, detect,  www.privacyrights.org

advocacy) (Consumer info and  www.fraud.org

(help to avoid and defend)  www.idtheftcenter.org

(understanding and prevention of identity theft)  http://security.uark.edu/

BEFORE YOU GO…

 Please complete and submit your evaluation forms  PowerPoint presentation will be posted on our website

THANK YOU!

 Contact Information:  Office of Financial Aid; Andrea, Gary, and Melissa  Campus location: 114 Silas Hunt Hall  Phone: 479-575-3806  Fax: 479-575-7790  Website: http://finaid.uark.edu/  And find us on Facebook at University of Arkansas Financial Aid!

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