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Avoid Identity Theft

Identity Theft is a Serious Crime. How Does it Happen?

Identity theft and identity fraud occurs when someone uses your personal information without your permission to commit fraud or other crimes. While you can't entirely control whether you will become a victim, there are steps you can take to minimize your risk and minimize the damage if a problem occurs.


Skilled identity thieves use a variety of methods to steal your personal information, including:

  1. Dumpster Diving. They rummage through trash looking for bills or other paper with your personal information on it.

  2. Skimming. They steal credit/debit card numbers by using a special storage device when processing your card.

  3. Phishing. They pretend to be financial institutions or companies and send spam or pop-up messages to get you to reveal your personal information.

  4. Changing Your Address. They divert your billing statements to another location by completing a "change of address" form.

  5. "Old-Fashioned" Stealing. They steal wallets and purses; mail, including bank and credit card statements; pre-approved credit offers; and new checks or tax information. They steal personnel records from their employers, or bribe employees who have access.



For support following a victimization, contact law enforcement. For additional information, services, and recovery aids, explore the following Web sites (Clayton County Government does not exercise control over external links. Please refer to our web site disclaimer.):

FTC - Avoid ID Theft Web siteThe Federal Trade Commission (FTC) - This Web site is a one-stop national resource and comprehensive reference center to learn about the crime of identity theft. It provides detailed information to help you Deter, Detect, and Defend against identity theft.

If you are making presentations in your community about how to avoid identity theft, email to order a free copy of the ID Theft Consumer Education Kit. Please provide your name, organization, address, and phone number to facilitate shipping.

Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) - The OVC administers the Crime Victims Fund authorized by the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) and grant programs to help crime victims. OVC grant programs include crime victim compensation, crime victim assistance, national scope training and technical assistance and demonstration programs, the children's justice and assistance act, and services to federal crime victims.

FDIC - Consumer Alerts - The FDIC has created a Web page to inform consumers of information the FDIC has made available on identity theft.

State Department of Banking & Finance - The Georgia Department of Banking and Finance (Department) is the state agency that regulates and examines state-chartered banks, state-chartered credit unions, and state-chartered trust companies. The Department also has regulatory and/or licensing authority over mortgage brokers, lenders and processors, check cashers, sale of check companies, money transmitters, international banking organizations, and bank holding companies conducting business in Georgia.