Identity Theft: What we need to know
Identity theft occurs when someone uses another person’s personal identifying information, like their name, identifying number, or credit card number, without their permission, to commit fraud or other crimes. This information may be used to make purchases, open credit accounts, or receive a tax refund. Identity theft can happen to anyone including children who may not realize their identity has been stolen until years later.
Identity theft is usually spotted when bills and debt collectors start contacting the victim. Some warning signs of identity theft include:
● Charges on your credit card that are unfamiliar
● Unfamiliar accounts on your credit report
● Receiving bills that aren’t yours
● Debt collection calls for debts you don’t owe
Recovering from identity theft takes time. Victims can report theft to the Federal Trade Commission and law enforcement. They also need to put a fraud alert out to credit bureaus and contact companies where accounts were opened to report the fraud. Victims should also continue to monitor their credit reports and bank statements for other instances of fraud.
If you or someone you know has experienced identity theft, please contact Student Victim Assistance to discuss your situation and create a recovery plan. Identity theft can be a jarring experience, but it doesn’t need to be done alone. If you or someone you know has experienced identy theft, please reach out to an advocate with Georgia State University, Student Victim Assistance at 404-413-1965.