Identity theft occurs when someone fraudulently uses your personal identifying information to obtain credit, take out a loan, open accounts, create false identification, or any other activity in which a criminal uses your information in an unauthorized manner.
While military personnel are providing service to our country, thieves are diligently seeking ways to exploit a soldier’s vulnerabilities and susceptibility to identity theft.
Deployed servicemembers are especially at risk of identity theft. Military personnel who deploy can place an Active Duty Alert on their credit reports to help minimize their risk. An active duty alert on a credit report means businesses must take extra steps before granting credit in your name. The alert lasts for one year and can be renewed to match the period of deployment.
How do thieves get your information?
- Stealing your wallet
- False or misleading Internet sites
- Purchase of your personal information
- Computer hackers - Data Breach
- Diverting your mail
- Phony email or “pop-up” messages
- Burglarizing homes and businesses
- ATM skimming
What to do if you become a victim:
- Contact your bank and credit card issuers
- Notify the Social Security Administration
- Contact all creditors by phone and in writing
- Contact all credit reporting agencies
- Contact the Colorado Bureau of Investigations (CBI)
- File a report with your local law enforcement
- Notify your telephone and utility companies
- Notify the Post Office
Tips on preventing identity theft:
- Never provide personal identifying information over the telephone, except to known sources
- Never keep your Social Security number in your wallet
- Never respond to email or “pop-up” messages on your computer, claiming you have won a prize or that there is an issue with your credit card, bank account, or other service
- Always use a cross-cut shredder to properly dispose of personal identifying information
- Password protect all credit card accounts
- Control access to your credit history. If applicable, place a no-charge active duty alert on your credit report
- Take all credit card receipts with you after paying for goods and services
- Be careful of all incoming and outgoing mail
- Place an Active Duty Alert on your credit report.
- Visit the Identity Theft Fraud Center for additional resources and to view our complete Identity Theft Handbook
If you believe you have been victimized by Identity Theft, contact the Colorado Bureau of Investigations Identity Theft Unit online or by telephone at 1-855-443-3489 (toll free).