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Identity Theft


I can't get credit because of this situation. ... The FTC estimated the ID theft costs consumers and businesses $50 billion last year (2003) ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Identity Theft

  • Identity Theft
  • Presented by
  • Dennis F. Dycus, CPA, CFE, CGFM
  • Association of Government Accountants
  • Southeast Regional PDC

  • Identity Theft
  • What is it?
  • To knowingly transfer or use, without authority,
    a means of identification of another person with
    the intent to commit, or to aid or abet, any
    unlawful activity that constitutes a violation of
    Federal law,or that constitutes a felony under
    any applicable State or local law.

  • Identity theft is an up-and-coming fraud that is
  • That an estimated 700,000 to 1 million people
    were victims in 2001
  • Actual losses to victimized individuals and
    institutions totaled 442 million in 1995 and
    increased to 745 million in 1997 (69 increase)

  • (In 1997) Projected to 2002 Excess of Two
    Billion Dollars
  • On average, 1 in ever 5 households have
    experienced some form of identity theft

  • ID Theft almost always involves a financial
    services institution in some way as a
  • Lender
  • Holder of a bank account
  • Holder of a credit card or
  • Holder of a debit card,
    because ..
  • Thats where the money is!

  • For victims, costs can be significant and
  • Illegal debts in the tens of thousands of
    dollars (Although not liable)
  • Consumers credit history scarred
  • Denial of loans, mortgagees and employment
  • Bad credit report
  • Criminal history

  • My purse was stolen in December of 1990. In
    February 1991, I started getting notices of
    bounced checks. About a year later, I received
    information that someone using my identity had
    defaulted on a number of lease agreements and
    bought a car. In 1997, I learned that someone
    had been working under my Social Security number
    for a number of years. A man had been arrested
    and used my SSN on his arrest sheet.

  • Theres a hit in the FBI computers for my SSN
    with a different name and gender. I cant get
    credit because of this situation. I was denied a
    mortgage loan, employment, credit cards, and
    medical care for my children. Ive even had auto
    insurance denied, medical insurance and tuition
    assistance denied.
  • From a consumer complaint to the FTC,
  • January 2, 2001

  • Its so quick!
  • and
  • Its so easy!
  • And its growing!

  • Consumer inquires to the Trans Unions credit
    bureaus Fraud Victim Assistance Department
  • 1992 ------ 35,235
  • 2001 ------ over 1,000,000
  • Social Security investigations related to misuse
    of the SS number
  • 1996 ------ 305
  • 1997 ------ 1,153 (378 increase)

  • Update
  • Last year, about 9.9 million Americans found
    that people took money from their bank accounts,
    or obtained credit cards or official documents in
    their names
  • The FTC estimated the ID theft costs consumers
    and businesses 50 billion last year (2003)

  • Update
  • Cost to the victims of ID Theft 5 Billion
  • 60 Hours of time to attempt to correct financial
  • Average credit card loss - 10,200

The Profile
  • Someone who wishes to conceal his or her identity
  • Been convicted, served time in prison and looking
    for a safer way to commit a crime and stay out
    of prison

The Profile
  • College kid looking for an easy way to work his
    or her way through school
  • Landlord
  • Rental car agents
  • Illegal aliens needing an identity
  • Illegal telemarketers

Common Ways of Obtaining Information
  • Soliciting identifiers through false job
    application schemes
  • Telephone companies, health clubs and schools
  • Certifications, licenses placed on workplace
  • Sorting through discarded trash
  • Shoulder surfing
  • Rental and loan applications
  • Rifling through co-workers desk drawers
  • Theft of mail incoming or outgoing
  • Using an accomplice within the organization
  • Using pretext, ruse, or gag calls

Common Ways of Obtaining Information
  • From your SS printed on your company ID badge
  • Information from your medical files
  • Credit bureau reports
  • Drivers license
  • Change of address form
  • Postal employees steal your mail or new credit
  • Purchased from inside sources
  • Your credit card is swiped by the server at
    your favorite restaurant
  • Information on your company expense report

Identity Theft
  • Question?
  • Whats in your files?
  • Do you know who has access to them, and how?

For Starters
  • Name, Address and Telephone Number
  • Bank Account Numbers
  • Credit Card Numbers
  • Investments
  • Canceled Checks
  • Personal Tax Returns
  • Business Tax Returns
  • Federal EIN Number
  • Social Security Numbers
  • Drivers License Numbers

Common Ways of Obtaining Information
  • Public records
  • The Internet

Credit Bureaus
  • Equifax - To order a report,
    call 1-800-685-1111 To report fraud, call
  • Experian - To order a report,
    call 1-888-397-3742 To report fraud, call
  • Trans Union - To order your report,
    call 1-800-888-4213 To report fraud, call

State of AlabamaORDER AL99Cost 65
Tennessee IDORDERTN99 Cost 65Authentic
hologram for 44
Denmark IDOrderDENMARK99COST 79
US Social Security CardORDER SSCARDUS9999
Preventing False Identity Fraud
  • Before providing personal information, make sure
    the individual or business requesting it has a
    valid reason for requiring the information
  • Never write your credit card numbers or Social
    Security number on checks or on the outside of
  • Dont give account numbers over the telephone or
    to persons/companies you are not familiar with

Preventing False Identity Fraud
  • Keep all financial documents in a secure place
  • If you have your drivers license information
    preprinted on your checks, shred canceled checks
    before discarding them
  • Check your financial information regularly
    looking for what should and shouldnt be there

Preventing False Identity Fraud
  • Obtain a copy of your credit report on a regular
  • Tear up or shred preapproved credit applications
  • Have yourself taken off of pre-screened lists
  • Mail bills from the post office or your business
  • Consider having your name and telephone number
    removed from the telephone directory or having
    the address removed

Preventing False Identity Fraud
  • Dont provide personal information over the
    telephone unless you initiated the call and know
    who you are speaking with
  • If telemarketing companies call, tell them
    Under the federal Telephone Consumer Protection
    Act, I want to be on your do not calllist
    (State of Tennessee has a Do Not Call list
  • TCA, Section 65-4-401 et seq.
  • (
  • Keep your birth certificate in a safe place

Preventing False Identity Fraud
  • Place a fraud alert on your credit bureau lists
  • Close all unused credit card accounts
  • Use passwords that will be difficult to crack
  • Dont put your Social Security number on any
    document that you arent legally required to
  • Shred any papers with financial information and
    identifiers rather than simply throwing them in
    the trash

What To Do If Your Identity Is Stolen
  • Start keeping detailed records
  • Notify all creditors on your credit report
  • Check for and repair further breaches of your
  • Notify law enforcement agencies File a
    complaint and retain a copy
  • Call the FTCs Identity Theft Hotline at
  • 1-877-IDTHEFT (438-4338)

Tracking Down the Thief
  • Obtain videos from retailers showing the
    perpetrator making purchases using the victims
  • Obtain a copy of the perpetrators picture on the
    fictitious drivers license
  • Track down addresses and telephone numbers that
    do not belong to the victim but show up in their
  • Have the victim notify the fraud examiner when
    further breaches occur
  • Report the fraud to law enforcement

Tracking Down the Thief
  • Establish surveillance of the address in question
  • Have overnight delivery services flag the
    address in question
  • Subpoena telephone records for the telephone(s)
    being used by the perpetrator
  • Contact credit bureaus and have them flag the
    true account holders file
  • Contact the Social Security Administration to
    determine if the number is listed twice in the

Confronting the Fraudster
  • On initial contact, call the fraudster by the
    wrong name generally he or she will then produce
    identification in the name of the victim
  • Try to establish the fraudsters true identity
  • For safety reasons use caution when confronting
    the thief

  • Federal Statutes
  • Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act
  • State Laws
  • Most states have also passed laws related to
    identity theft
  • TCA, Section 65-4-401 et seq.

  • Ive spent the last two years trying to repair my
    credit report (a very frustrating process) and
    have suffered the ill effects of having a marred
    credit history. Ive recently been denied a
    student loan because of inaccurate information on
    my credit history.
  • From a consumer complaint to the FTC,
  • February 22, 2001

  • My wallet was stolen in December 1998. Theres
    been no end to the problems Ive faced since
    then. The thieves used my identity to write
    checks, use a debit card, open a bank account
    with a line of credit, open credit accounts with
    several stores, obtain cell phones and run up
    huge bills, print fraudulent checks on a personal
    computer bearing my name, and more.



Are You At Risk for Identity Theft?
  • I receive several offers of pre-approved credit
    every week. (5 pts) Add 5 more points if you do
    not shred them before putting them in the trash.
  • I carry my SS card in my wallet. (10 pts)
  • I do not have a PO Box or a locked, secured
    mailbox. (5 pts)
  • I use an unlocked open box at work or at my home
    to drop off my outgoing mail. (10 pts)
  • I carry my military ID in my wallet at all times.
    (10 pts)

Are You At Risk for Identity Theft?
  • I do not shred or tear banking and credit
    information when I throw it in the trash. (10
  • I provide my SSN whenever asked, without asking
    questions as to how that information will be
    safeguarded. (10 pts) Add 5 points if you
    provide it orally without checking the see who
    might be listening.
  • I am required to us my SSN at work as an employee
    or student ID number. (5 pts)

Are You At Risk for Identity Theft?
  • I have my SSN printed on my employee badge that I
    wear at work or in public. (10 pts)
  • I have my SSN or driver's license number printed
    on my personal checks. (20 pts)
  • I am listed in a Whos Who guide. (5 pts)
  • I carry my insurance card in my wallet and either
    my SSN or that of my spouse is the ID. (20 pts)

Are You At Risk for Identity Theft?
  • I have not ordered a copy of my credit reports
    for a least 2 years. (10 pts)
  • I do not believe that people would root around in
    my trash looking for credit or financial
    information. (10 pts)
  • 100 points -Your are at a high risk
  • 50-100 points Your odds of being victimized are
    about average. Higher if you have good credit.
  • 0-50 Congratulations. You have a high IQ.
    Keep up the good work and dont let your guard

  • (Or in some cases, Nightmares!)

  • Identity Theft
  • Presented by
  • Dennis F. Dycus, CPA, CFE, CGFM
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