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Identity Theft

Identity theft and identity fraud are terms used to refer to all types of crime in which someone wrongfully obtains and uses another person's personal data in some way that involves fraud or deception, typically for economic gain. Identity theft is a growing crime that can cost you time and money. It can destroy your credit and ruin your good name. In a very short amount of time from when your identity is compromised, a criminal can have high quality identification cards made using your name and issued identification numbers to then use to pass fraudulent checks and open credit accounts in your name.

Deter Identity Thieves by Safeguarding Your Information:

  • Shred financial documents and paperwork with personal information before you discard them.

  • Protect your Social Security number. Don't carry your Social Security card in your wallet or write your Social Security number on a check. Give it out only if absolutely necessary or ask to use another identifier.

  • Don't give out personal information on the phone, through the mail, or over the Internet unless you know who you are dealing with.

  • Never click on links sent in unsolicited emails; instead, type in a web address you know. Use firewalls, anti- spyware, and anti-virus software to protect your home computer; keep them up-to-date. Visit OnGuardOnline.gov for more information.

  • Don't use an obvious password like your birth date, your mother's maiden name, or the last four digits of your Social Security number.

  • Keep your personal information in a secure place at home, especially if you have roommates, employ outside help, or are having work done in your house.

Common Ways Identity Theft Happens:

  1. Dumpster Diving. They rummage through trash looking for bills or other paper with your personal information on it.

  2. Skimming. They steal credit/debit card numbers by using a special storage device when processing your card.

  3. Phishing. They pretend to be financial institutions or companies and send spam or pop-up messages to get you to reveal your personal information.

  4. Changing Your Address. They divert your billing statements to another location by completing a "change of address" form.

  5. "Old-Fashioned" Stealing. They steal wallets and purses; mail, including bank and credit card statements; pre-approved credit offers; and new checks or tax information. They steal personnel records from their employers, or bribe employees who have access.

Deter, Detect, Defend - Avoid Identity Theft

If you think you've become a victim of identity theft or fraud, act immediately to minimize the damage to your personal funds and financial accounts, as well as your reputation.  Here's a list of some actions that you should take right away:

Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to report the situation online or by telephone toll free at 1-877-ID THEFT (877-438-4338) or TDD at 202-326-2502, or by mail to Consumer Response Center, FTC, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580.

Under the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act , the Federal Trade Commission is responsible for receiving and processing complaints from people who believe they may be victims of identity theft, providing informational materials to those people, and referring those complaints to appropriate entities, including the major credit reporting agencies and law enforcement agencies. For further information, please check the FTC's identity theft Web pages.

Call the fraud units of the three principal credit reporting companies:

Equifax: To report fraud, call (800) 525-6285 or write to P.O. Box 740250, Atlanta, GA 30374- 0250.

Experian: To report fraud, call (888) EXPERIAN or (888) 397-3742, fax to (800) 301-7196, or write to P.O. Box 1017, Allen, TX 75013.

Trans Union: To report fraud, call (800) 680- 7289 or write to P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92634.

Identity Theft Brochure

City of Maize
Through the integration of its population into every aspect of quality education, civic improvements, community appearance, commerce and recreation, Maize shall preserve its small town atmosphere and become the best small city in Kansas.

"Where Community Counts"