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Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships

Identity Theft

Identity theft occurs when someone steals your personal information (e.g. credit card number or social security number) and uses it fraudulently.

Did you Know…

  • Most stolen cards are used within 48 hours, so it is important to report a missing card immediately.
  • If someone steals your ATM card and uses it, you could be responsible for up to $500. The Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) states the amount you're responsible for depends on when you report the loss.
  • Over 10 million people become identity theft victims in the US each year.
  • Someone has their identity stolen every 4 seconds in the United States.
  • 60% of victims don't find out about the identity theft until 3 or more months after it occurs.
  • Victims spend anywhere from 6 months to two years recovering from identity theft.

How Does Identity Theft Happen?

  • Go through your trash or “dumpster dive”
  • Steal your wallet or purse
  • Steal your mail or submit a change of address form for your mail
  • Use “phishing” or fake emails to get you to provide personal information
  • Steal personnel records from employers

What Do Thieves do with Your Personal Information?

  • Take out loans in your name
  • Charge expenses to existing account
  • Open new credit card accounts
  • Access your bank accounts
  • Get a job
  • Ruin your good credit