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Identity Theft

Identity theft is a crime where the criminal uses personally identifying information such as a credit card number or Social Security number to assume someone else’s identity to commit fraud or other crimes.  Often the victim is left with bills for items not purchased, poor credit records, and sometimes arrests for crimes committed by someone else.  It can take months of work and thousands of dollars to repair the damage caused by identity theft. 

If your personal identifying information has been compromised but not yet misused, you should watch for signs of identity theft.  The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has a page called Detect Identity Theft that is helpful.    The Kentucky Attorney General also has a useful page

If you have been a victim of identity theft, that is, if your identity information has been used fraudulently, there are things you can do to protect yourself from further damage.  Both the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and state’s attorney general suggests that you:

  • Review your credit reports and place a fraud alert on your credit reports
  • Close any accounts you believe have been tampered with or opened fraudulently
  • File a report with your local law enforcement agency
  • Contact the IRS to begin the process of getting an Identity Protection PIN 
  • File a complaint with the FTC  

Best Practices

  • Protect your social security number by not carrying it with you
  • Don’t bite on phishing attempts
  • Be cautious who you share with and what you share on social networks
  • Shield your PC, phone, and other mobile devices with strong passwords/PINs, firewalls, virus and malware protection.
  • Click with caution
  • Check your statements monthly—credit card and bank statements
  • Stop pre-approved credit card offers
  • Check your credit reports for free.  You can do that free once per year—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.  Request all three reports at once.

External Links

Identity Theft Resource Center

Privacy Rights Clearinghouse  

FTC Identity Theft: A Recovery Plan (PDF)  

FTC Identity Theft  

Equifax 1-800-525-6285  

Experian 1-888-397-3742  

TransUnion  1-800-680-7289  

 

Contact Information

IT Service Desk
support@eku.edu
it.eku.edu
859-622-3000

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