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Identity Theft
Consequences of Identity Theft
Identity theft or identity fraud is the taking of a victim’s identity to obtain credit and credit cards from banks and retailers, steal money from a victim’s existing accounts, apply for loans, establish accounts with utility companies, rent an apartment, file bankruptcy, or obtain a job using a victim’s name. Thousands of dollars can be stolen without the victim knowing about it for months or even years.

Identity Theft Prevention
You can minimize your chances of becoming a victim by taking the following precautions:
  • Read the California Office of Privacy Protection's: A Guide for Identity Theft Victims.
  • Be sure to read the privacy policy on all websites.
  • Carry only what you actually need for identification and limit the number of credit cards in you wallet.
  • Consider ordering a copy of your free credit report each year to verify the information. The three major credit reporting agencies are:
    • Equifax: (800) 525-6285
    • Experian: (888) 397-3742
    • Trans Union: (800) 680-7289
  • Don’t put outgoing mail in your mailbox for pick up with account information or checks. Take to the post office.
  • Keep passwords to financial accounts private. Don’t use personal information for passwords.
  • Make a list of all your credit card and bank account numbers with customer service numbers and keep it in a safe place.
  • Store items with personal information in a safe place and shred them before discarding.
  • Verify the company or business you’re providing personal information to and find out how it will be used. 

Former Victims 
If you are a victim of identity theft, you can obtain the Identity Theft Victim's Request for Fraudulent Trasaction/Account Information, by clicking here.  Report the crime to the credit bureaus and place an immediate fraud alert. For assistance with investigation identity theft or fraud, contact Identity Council of Alameda County.