Identity Theft and Credit Protection Guide

Posted on 1st Feb, 2018 by Barbara Davidson

One of the fastest growing crimes in our technology-filled world is the crime of identity theft and the resulting credit fraud. In 2016, identify-theft-related fraud cost consumers over $744 million.1

Identity theft can take many different forms, and different types of personal information can become compromised. For example, many identity thieves typically look to illegally gather personally identifying information, such as legal name, address, social security number, date of birth and account numbers. From this information, thieves can then assume people’s identities and apply for loans, credit cards and even conduct transactions, all without the true owners being aware of the situation. Identity theft complaints were the third most reported to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and increased by more than 47% from 2013 to 2015.1


How Identity Thieves Find Your Information

Identity thieves employ a number of different methods to obtain the personal identification information they need to commit fraud, including the following:


How to Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft

One of the ways that consumers can protect their identities is by simply being alert for suspicious activity on their accounts, unwanted calls or inquiries about their credit. Thieves depend on consumer complacency to succeed. Just as burglars are always looking for unlocked windows, identity thieves are looking for individuals who fail to properly secure documents that contain their personal information or do not take precautions with their credit.

An effective strategy for consumers looking to protect themselves is to simply be warier whenever someone asks for personal information. Some institutions have legitimate reasons to ask for your personal information but many don’t need it.

Below are online resources that can help consumers avoid becoming the victims of identity theft and credit fraud:


What Is Identity theft?

Types of Identity Theft

Detecting Identity Theft

Identity Theft Prevention

Reporting Identity Theft


1Insurance Information Institute. (August 05, 2016). Facts + statistics: Identify theft and cybercrime. Retrieved January 16, 2018, from,28804,1914560_1914558_1914544,00.html

About Barbara Davidson

Babs is Lead Content Strategist and financial guru. She loves exploring fresh ways to save more and enjoy life on a budget! When she’s not writing, you’ll find her binge-watching musicals, reading in the (sporadic) Chicago sunshine and discovering great new places to eat. Accio, tacos!