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Identity Theft Webquest

Part I Use the Justice Departments website to learn more about identity theft.
http://www.justice.gov/criminal/fraud/websites/idtheft.html
1. What is identity theft? Identity theft is a crime in which someone wrongfully obtains and uses another persons
personal data in some way that involves fraud or deception, typically for economic gain.

2. Define the following ways thieves might steal your identity
a. Shoulder Surfing Thieves watch you punch in your credit card number or listen in on your conversation
as you tell someone your credit card number.

b. Dumpster Diving Thieves go through your garbage cans to obtain copies of your checks, credit card
statements, or bank statements.

c. Via the mail Thieves retrieve the applications for preapproved credit cards you receive in the mail.

d. Spam Emails Thieves request identifying data under false pretenses through email.

3. To avoid being a victim of identity theft, it is recommended that you SCAM what does this stand for?
Be Stingy about giving your personal information to others
Check your financial information regularly
Ask periodically for a copy of your credit report
Maintain careful records of your banking and financial accounts
4. Explain what one part of SCAM means. Ask periodically for a copy of your credit report because it lists all bank
and financial accounts under your name, and will provide other indications of whether someone has wrongfully
opened or used any accounts in your name.

5. What groups do you need to contact when you find youre the victim of identity theft or fraud? [Hint - there are 7
specific bureaus/organizations + 2 more generic companies and institutions] Federal Trade Commission, FBI, US
Secret Service, Postal Inspection Service, Social Security Administration, Internal Revenue Service, Experian,
Equifax, TransUnion


Part II For this assignment, you will read a story of one persons experience with identity theft and use the internet to
further your understanding of what happened to the person. Questions where you will need to research the answer
online are indicated as such.
Article -
http://www.protectmyid.com/images/education_center/pdf/060IdentityRecovery/050%20id%20recovery_one%20victi
ms%20story.pdf
6. Why was Joe Tremba confused when he received a collection letter about a past due credit card account? He only
has one credit card that he pays in full every month, and the letter referred to another card.

7. What does it mean to be assigned to a collections agency? [Look up online] Your bill is turned over to an agency
because you refuse to or unable to pay your debt.

8. How has this identity theft affected Joes life? Joe has to delay the purchase of a home for his family because his
credit score is too low to receive the best interest rates.

9. What does it mean to opt out of credit card offers that arrive in the mail? [Look this up online] You exclude your
name from credit reporting agency lists for unsolicited credit and insurance offers.

10. How many people are victims of identity theft each year? 11.1 Americans

11. What is the average amount stolen according to the Javelin Identity Fraud Survey Report in 2010? $4,841

12. When must suspicious credit activity be reported so creditors can efficiently track fraudulent purchases? Within the
first 30 days

13. What are the 3 big things you must look for when reviewing your credit report? Accounts that do not belong to you,
personal information that does not belong to you, outdated or incomplete information

14. What steps should be taken when you are the victim of identity theft? Place a fraud alert on your credit report, file
a police report, fill out an Identification Theft Complaint with the FTC

15. What is a fraud alert with the FTC? [Look this up online] it makes it harder for identity thieves to open more
accounts in your name