Are you at risk of becoming an identity theft victim?
As simple answer to the question “Can you hear me?" could make you a victim of identity theft. If the scammer records your answer of "yes," it could be used to authorize bogus charges on a credit card or a phone bill. Other variations of the scam include asking other yes or no questions such as “Are you the homeowner?"
According to the Federal Trade Commission, if you receive this kind of call - don’t respond, just hang up! It’s a pre-recorded robocall (opens new window) – even though it sounds like a real person – and it’s illegal.
Identity (ID) theft is a crime where a thief steals your personal information, such as your full name or Social Security number, to commit fraud. Identity theft affects millions of people each year. The identity thief can use your information to fraudulently apply for credit, file taxes, or get medical services. These acts can damage your credit status, and cost you time and money to restore your good name.
You may not know that you are the victim of ID theft until you experience a financial consequence (mystery bills, credit collections and denied loans) down the road from actions that the thief has taken with your stolen identity.
The Federal Trade Commission has launched IdentityTheft.gov (opens new window), a resource that makes it easier for identity theft victims to report and recover from identity theft. A Spanish version of the site is also available at RobodeIdentidad.gov (opens new window).
The new website provides an interactive checklist that walks people through the recovery process and helps them understand which recovery steps should be taken upon learning their identity has been stolen. It also provides sample letters (opens new window) and other helpful resources.
In addition, the site offers specialized tips for specific forms of identity theft, including tax-related and medical identity theft. The site also has advice for people who have been notified that their personal information was exposed in a data breach (opens new window).