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Identity Theft

Identity theft: the unauthorized possession of one's personal identification and information and the use of this information to fraudulently conduct business and other affairs including obtaining credit or funds. During 2004, 9.3 million American adults became victims of identity theft, according to the Better Business Bureau.

Identity thieves will open new accounts in other people's names and rack up debts on existing accounts. To do this, these thieves may use consumers' Social Security numbers, bank account information, addresses, or phone numbers. Some consumers have been denied jobs or insurance or have been arrested for crimes they did not commit--all because their identity was stolen.

Review the topics to the left to see how you can prevent identity theft and what to do if you become a victim.


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