Definitions of Fraud and Identity theft
What is fraud?
There are two principal methods of getting something from others illegally. Either you physically force someone to give you what you want, or you trick them out of their assets. Fraud always involves deception, confidence, and trickery. No definite and invariable rule can be laid down as a general proposition in defining fraud, as it includes surprise, trickery, cunning and unfair ways by which another is cheated.
The potential for fraud exists with every transaction you conduct. To aid in the prevention of fraud, check out our tips on how to be alert and what you can do to minimize your risk of fraud.
What is identity theft?
Identity theft takes place when someone steals your personal information (such as your name, social security, or bank account number) to commit fraud. These thieves use the information to repeatedly commit fraud in an attempt to duplicate your identity.
Fraud is committed in every society and economy, don’t fall prey to schemes that play on your natural inclination to trust. Being trusting is not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s important to verify before taking action. Email is one of the most common attack forms it is a quick and easy way for attackers to drop malware onto your PC or mobile device, or to trick you into providing sensitive information. Pay close attention to any emails that appear to come from slightly odd senders and be extremely wary of any email requesting you to provide or confirm sensitive information. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
If you suspect you are the victim of identity theft, you should contact these agencies:
- The local police department where you live.
- Identity Theft Hotline: 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338)
Contact your credit card companies if you suspect your credit card numbers have been compromised.
Credit Bureau Fraud Hotlines:
- Equifax: 1-800-525-6285
- Experian: 1-888-397-3742
- TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289
- If you think you are a victim of identity theft, act immediately. Contact the local police, your bank(s), the three major credit reporting agencies and the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338)or log on to its website at consumer.gov/idtheft.