Identify Theft 101

Last updated: July 31, 2018
Identity theft impacts millions of Americans annually

The latest study by Javelin Strategy & Research indicated that over 16 million people were victimized through identity theft last year. Commenting on the trend he sees, Al Pascual, a senior vice president and research department head with Javelin said, “2017 was a runaway year for fraudsters, and with the amount of valid information they have on consumers, their attacks are just getting more complex."

In Kansas, the Attorney General's office investigates and pursues cases of identity theft.

To avoid becoming a victim of identity theft, the Federal Trade Commission suggests the following:

1.     Lock your financial documents and records in a safe place at home. Lock your wallet or purse in a safe place at work.

2.     Limit what you carry. When you go out, take only the identification, credit and debit cards you need. Leave your Social Security card at home.

3.     Shred receipts, credit offers, credit applications, insurance forms, physician statements, checks, bank statements, expired charge cards, and similar documents when you no longer need them.

4.     Consider opting out of prescreened offers of credit and insurance by mail. You can opt out for 5 years or permanently. To opt out, call 1-888-567-8688 or visit optoutprescreen.com. The 3 nationwide credit reporting companies operate the phone number and website.

For more information on reclaiming your life after victimization, request the booklet, Identity Theft, A Recovery Plan (a free publication of the Federal Trade Commission) from the Kansas Insurance Department (contact information on the left side of this page). 

We thank the AARP for allowing us to repost their video.

This article is published on KansasMoney.gov. Find more information by contacting these state agencies: