Skip to the content

Kansas State University

Identity Theft

Identity thieves steal your personal information (name, social security numbers, driver's license, etc.) and use it for personal gain. It can happen when hackers break into your computer, but also when you provide personal information through any other communication.

What you can do

  1. In public: Don't give any personal data verbally (driver's license, SSN, email address, etc.). Don't let your credit card be taken out of sight. Question "Why" a business needs more personal data.

  2. PC: Limit access to your computer. Install good firewall hardware and software. Ensure secure authentication is turned on. Use good passwords for each user.

  3. Phone: Verify who is calling before providing personal data. Question "Why" more personal data is needed. If you didn't expect the call, call them back at the public number. Don't provide data on household members (age, gender, birthdays, schedules, etc.).

  4. Email: Be cautious about clicking on links. Telephone a company directly to verify it sent an email message. See phishing and scams and email risks.

  5. Web: Verify the website is a reliable business. Before providing personal data, ensure the site has a secure icon and/or " https" in the web address.

  6. Read 14 tips to avoid identity theft by Frank W. Abagnale.

Resources

Nationwide consumer credit-reporting companies

Use this contact information if you need to place a fraud alert on your credit reports.


Did you know?

You can obtain a Free Credit Report from each major credit bureau once every year from AnnualCreditReport.com. No other site on the Internet will give you free--no strings attached--credit reports. To learn more about getting your free credit report annually check out the FTC's Facts for Consumers when ordering free credit reports.