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Identity Theft Webquest

Part I Use the Justice Departments website to learn more about identity theft.
1. What is identity theft?
Identity theft is the act of stealing some ones personal id such as their social security, credit card, or license and
acting to be that person and spending money under your name.
2. Define the following ways thieves might steal your identity
a. Shoulder Surfing
When somebody watches you from a distance as you punch in your credit card number or when they listen
to your conversation about your credit card number.
b. Dumpster Diving
Going through your dumpster/trash to find old credit card statements with your name address and even
telephone number.
c. Via the mail
By getting your passwords to accounts and being able to change passwords and access personal information
of yours.
d. Spam Emails
People will spam mail you and thief emails will request important personal information with good benefits
and obtain your bank information and other personal information.
3. To avoid being a victim of identity theft, it is recommended that you SCAM what does this stand for?
S-Be stingy about giving out your personal information.
C-Check your financial information regularly
A- Ask periodically for a credit report
M- Maintain careful records of your banking and financial account.
4. Explain what one part of SCAM means.
The S means to be stingy about who you give your information out to so that you do not become a victim of
identity theft for giving your information out to people.
5. What groups do you need to contact when you find youre the victim of identity theft or fraud? [Hint - there are 7
specific bureaus/organizations + 2 more generic companies and institutions]
Contact the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), Postal Inspection Service, Social Security Administration, Internal
Revenue Service, Equifax, Experian, Transunion

Part II For this assignment, you will read a story of one persons experience with identity theft and use the internet to
further your understanding of what happened to the person. Questions where you will need to research the answer
online are indicated as such.
Article -
6. Why was Joe Tremba confused when he received a collection letter about a past due credit card account?

7. What does it mean to be assigned to a collections agency? [Look up online]
That they will pursue your late payments of debts owed by individuals or business.
8. How has this identity theft affected Joes life?
Because his interest rate was raised he has bad credit and will not be able to buy the house he wants. Also he has
collectors calling him all the time.
9. What does it mean to opt out of credit card offers that arrive in the mail? [Look this up online]
It means to deny the credit card.
10. How many people are victims of identity theft each year?
11.1 million
11. What is the average amount stolen according to the Javelin Identity Fraud Survey Report in 2010?
12. When must suspicious credit activity be reported so creditors can efficiently track fraudulent purchases?
As soon as you discover there is suspicious activity or something missing
13. What are the 3 big things you must look for when reviewing your credit report?
Something you didnt purchase, extra cash or another account
14. What steps should be taken when you are the victim of identity theft?
Call your bank to cancel cards, and also call credit bureau
15. What is a fraud alert with the FTC? [Look this up online]
Its when the FTC sends you an alert that something has happened with your account that seems suspicious