What is Consumer Financial Protection?
Unfortunately, identify theft and related fraud is a growing concern in our society as we continue to move to more and more methods of electronic funds transfer. These electronic methods of payment and transferring funds have made it much easier for us to pay for purchases, pay our bills, transfer money between our accounts but they have also made it easier for criminals to do the same. Criminals are constantly looking for ways to capture the information needed to use credit card, debit card, or checking account information to illegally access the funds in your accounts. They can also use your on-line identity, name, address, social security number, birthday, drivers license number, etc. to obtain money, credit, etc. under your name.
Often criminals can obtain the balance of the information they need to steal someone's identity from online databases after obtaining one bit of information like your social security number. It is important to limit, as much as possible, the use of your non public identity information and to regularly, at least once per year, review your credit report for unauthorized activity.
You can obtain a free copy of your credit report from the credit reporting agencies at www.annualcreditreport.com. See "Protecting Your Credit" and "10 Things You Can Do to Avoid Fraud" for more tips and suggestions to protect your credit in addition to who to contact if you are a victim of credit fraud or identity theft.