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Home » Identity-theft

Security Center
What is Identity Theft?

Identity Theft is a broad term used to refer to the variety of means by which criminals attempt to defraud you and steal your identity, and subsequently you money. Your identity is encompassed by a combination of several pieces of personal identifying information such as your full name, Social Security number, and date of birth (to name a few). Thieves then use these pieces of information to access your accounts, or sometimes trick you into accessing your accounts for them!

People whose identities have been stolen can spend months or years, and their hard-earned money, cleaning up the mess thieves have made of their good name and credit record. In the meantime, victims may lose job opportunities, be refused loans, education, housing or cars, or even get arrested for crimes they didn't commit.

You're likely familiar with some of the means by which a thief can steal your personal identifying information, but there are also many ways you might not be familiar with. Understanding the different types of fraud should help you avoid becoming a victim. We believe that education is your best defense against these crimes. Please read through this information and view the other information on the other tabs on this page to educate yourself completely.

Following are some typical ways that Identity Theft is committed. This list is by no means complete, as criminals are always developing new ways to defraud you, but it does encompass many of the most common means used.

How thieves try to get your personal identifying information and defraud you:

Loss or Theft




Fake Check Scams


Spyware and Computer Hacking


Mail Theft


"Dumpster Diving"


Card Skimming


"Shoulder Surfing" and Eavesdropping