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 a way that involves fraud or deception, typically for economic gain. Identity theft occurs when someone steals key pieces of personal identifying information, which may include a name, address, date of birth, Social Security number, and mother's maiden name, to gain access to a person's financial accounts. Armed with this information, an identity thief may open new credit or financial accounts, buy cars, apply for loans or Social Security benefits, rent an apartment, or set up utility and phone service—in someone else’s name. Learn more about identity theft by visiting the articles and sites below.
TIGTA and Congress Focus on Identity Theft and Tax Fraud
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) released a report stating that the Internal Revenue Service does not handle identity theft issues well.
Preventing Identity Theft Throughout the Data Life Cycle
The Federal Trade Commission estimates that as many as 9 million people have their identities stolen every year. CPAs, their clients and corporate employers are susceptible to improperly managed data that can lead to a privacy breach and identity theft. Data management best practices and procedures for responding to a data breach are crucial for reducing the risk.
The President's Identity Theft Task Force
The President's Identity Theft Task Force has been organized to provide a framework to combat the ever increasing threats of crime on consumers and the business community.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) - Identity Theft Website
The FTC provides resources for consumers and businesses on combating identity theft.
Identity Theft Presentation with Speakers Notes
This presentation, with speakers notes, covers 10 steps that businesses should follow to protect personal information and prevent identity theft from occurring.
The President's Identity Theft Task Force Releases Comprehensive Strategic Plan to Combat Identity Theft
The President’s Identity Theft Task Force's strategic plan focuses on ways to improve the effectiveness of criminal prosecutions of identity theft; enhance data protection for sensitive consumer information maintained by the public sector, private sector, and consumers; provide more comprehensive and effective guidance for consumers and the business community; and improve recovery and assistance for consumers.
To view The President’s Identity Theft Task Force Strategic Plan documents, refer to the links below:
Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act
In October 1998, Congress passed the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act of 1998 to address the problem of identity theft. Specifically, the Act amended 18 U.S.C. § 1028 to make it a federal crime when anyone knowingly transfers or uses, without lawful authority, a means of identification of another person with the intent to commit, or to aid or abet, any unlawful activity that constitutes a violation of Federal law, or that constitutes a felony under any applicable State or local law.
Help Prevent Identity Theft Checklist
Most companies keep sensitive personal information in their files and in their computers—names, Social Security numbers, account data—that identifies customers or employees. Companies need information like that to fill orders, meet payroll or perform other necessary business functions. But if sensitive data falls into the wrong hands, it can lead to fraud or identity theft. Safeguarding sensitive data is just plain good business. This checklist provides steps to help protect the personal information of customers or clients.
Coping With Identity Theft: Reducing the Risk of Fraud
This guide lists steps individuals can take to reduce their risk of fraud.
Identity Theft And Your Social Security Number
Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in America. When a dishonest person has your Social Security number, the thief can use it to get other personal information about you. Most of the time identity thieves use your number and your good credit to apply for more credit in your name.
What Should I Do If I've Become A Victim Of 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. This list—prepared by the United States Department of Justice—provides practical tips on how to prevent and mitigate identity theft. An identity theft quiz is also available to test your knowledge on how to safeguard your personal information.
Florida's Identity Theft Victim Kit
This kit is designed to help you through the process of resolving your identity theft case and clearing your name. While there are many general identity theft resource guides available, this kit was specifically developed to provide assistance to Floridians who are identity theft victims, as well as individuals in other states who had their personal information fraudulently used in the state of Florida.
Protect Against Identity Theft
This article gives you some safety advisories to pass along to clients on how to guard against identity theft.
Identity Theft 911
This website offers individuals, businesses, and institutions the world's most comprehensive solution to the problem of identity theft—one that addresses people's lives, not just their bank accounts.
Identity Theft IQ Test
Here is a quick test to determine if you are at risk to identity theft.
SSN: Your First Form of ID Theft Protection
One of the biggest financial vulnerabilities of every American lies within the power of nine numbers – the fingerprint of credit and, ultimately, your entire personal identity. Together, these nine numerals make up your Social Security number (SSN); when stolen or misused, your world can turn upside down.