What Is Identity Theft?
Identity Theft happens when someone steals your personal information in order to commit fraud or theft. Identity theft is a felony.
Identity Theft becomes a concern to victims whose purses or wallets are lost or stolen due to the amount of personal identification inside. The thief may, for example, use your information to open a credit card account, charge purchases to a card in your name and you do not know until your credit rating is adversely affected.
Identity Theft/Identity Fraud, as defined by Kansas Statute 21-6107, is (a) Identity theft is obtaining, possessing, transferring, using, selling or purchasing any personal identifying information, or document containing the same, belonging to or issued to another person, with the intent to: (1) Defraud that person, or anyone else, in order to receive any benefit; or (2) misrepresent that person in order to subject that person to economic or bodily harm. (b) Identity Fraud is: (1) Using or supplying information the person knows to be false in order to obtain a document containing any personal identifying information; or (2) altering amending, counterfeiting, making, manufacturing or otherwise replicating any document containing personal identifying information with the intent to deceive.
Prevent Becoming a Victim of Identity Theft
- If your purse or wallet is stolen, obtain a credit report immediately afterwards.
- Shred or tear up all paperwork with personal information on it before placing it in the trash.
- Shred all applications for credit cards that you receive in the mail if you are not going to obtain the card. Many times all it takes is a signature to activate an account in your name!
- Do not give out personal information to telephone solicitors or anyone you may be unsure of. Instead, obtain their phone number and call them back. Legitimate companies will have no problem giving you their telephone number.
- The Internet is a great source of information for society, but that includes thieves, too! Before putting personal information or your credit card number out on the Internet, determine if the site is a secure site. Most websites will let you know if they are secure or not. A secure page begins with https:// and will feature, in Netscape, a blue bar across the top of the window and a solid key in the lower left corner; or, in Microsoft Internet Explorer, a closed padlock in the lower right corner.
If you think you may be a victim of identity theft, immediately contact the Prairie Village Police Department by calling 913/642-6868.
- USA.gov - your first click to the U.S. Government
- Federal Trade Commission
- Information on Identity Theft
- Federal Consumer Information Center
Test Your Knowledge about Identity Theft and Take the OnGuard Online Quiz:
Click Here to Play Identity Theft Faceoff