The FDIC has created this webpage to inform consumers of information the FDIC has made available on identity theft. Despite the efforts of law enforcement, Identity theft is becoming more sophisticated and the number of new victims is growing. In general, consumers are protected against liability for unauthorized accounts or transactions under federal and state law and by financial industry practices. However, innocent victims of Identity theft sometimes do suffer losses. And if the crime is not detected early, people may face months or years cleaning up the damage to their reputation and credit rating, and sometimes they lose out on loans, jobs and other opportunities in the meantime. The evolution of Identity theft includes the spread of fraudulent "phishing" e-mails. These are unsolicited e-mails purportedly from a legitimate source - perhaps your bank, utility company, well-known merchants, your Internet service provider or even a trusted government agency such as the FDIC - attempting to trick you into divulging personal information.
Identity Theft can affect consumers in many ways, but there are also many ways to keep your identity from being "hijacked," and to assist you if you have been a victim of it:
- Protect your Social Security number (SSN), credit card and debit card numbers, PINs (personal identification numbers), passwords and other personal information.
- Protect your incoming and outgoing mail.
- Keep your financial trash "clean."
- Keep a close watch on your bank account statements and credit card bills.
- Avoid identity theft on the Internet.
- Exercise your new rights under FACTA to review your credit record and report fraudulent activity.
Below are selected links to information about identity theft:
Federal Trade Commission (FTC):
- Phishy Videos - A humorous series of videos with practical, useful, and memorable messages. The videos are presented on FTC's channel on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/user/FTCvideos).
- Take Charge: Fighting Back Against Identity Theft
- ID Theft: Your National Resource for Identity Theft
OnGuardOnLine.gov provides practical tips from the federal government and the technology industry to help you be on guard against Internet fraud, secure your computer, and protect your personal information.
FDIC Consumer News Articles
- Fall 2004: ID Theft: Strategies and Help for Fighting Back
- Summer 2004: Checks and Balances: New Rules, New Strategies for Bank Customers in the 21st Century
- Spring 2004: News Briefs
- Winter 2003/2004: When Internet Scam Artists Go "Phishing", Don't Take the Bait, Fraudulent Ads Use Official Bank Logos
- Spring 2003: Fighting Financial Fraud: How to Shield Yourself from Swindles
- Winter 2002/2003: Monitoring Your Credit Report to Help Guard Against ID Theft
- Putting an End to Account-Hijacking Identity Theft
- PR-125-2004 FDIC Issues Study on Identity Theft and Seeks Comments on Possible Guidance to Bankers
- PR-95-2004 FDIC Warns About Fraudulent Request for Information
- PR-93-2004 Federal Bank, Thrift and Credit Union Regulatory Agencies Provide Brochure with Information on Internet "Phishing"
- PR-36-2001 FDIC Issues Guidance on Identity Theft and Pretext Calling
Financial Institution Letters
- FDIC: FIL-132-2004: Study on "Account-Hijacking" Identity Theft and Suggestions for Reducing Online Fraud
- FDIC: FIL-116-2004: Final Amendments to the Federal Reserve Board's Regulation CC
- FDIC: FIL-103-2004: Interagency Informational Brochure on Internet "Phishing" Scams
- FDIC: FIL-54-2004: Check Clearing For The 21st Century Act
- FDIC: FIL-27-2004: Guidance on Safeguarding Customers Against E-Mail and Internet-Related Fraudulent Schemes
- FDIC: FIL-397-2001: Identity Theft and Pretext Calling