Identity theft is a serious crime. It’s happening more and more frequently around the world, across the nation, and here in Hawaii. It’s not a mere inconvenience. People whose identities have been stolen can spend months or years – and their hard-earned money – cleaning up the mess thieves have made of their good name and credit record. In the meantime, victims may lose job opportunities, refused loans, education, housing or cars, or even get arrested for crimes they didn’t commit.
Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information such as your name, Social Security number, credit card number or other identifying information, without your permission, to commit fraud or other crimes.
The DCCA Identity Theft website contains education and prevention resources to protect yourself from identity theft. These resources include tips to prevent your identity from being stolen, who to contact if you think your identity has been stolen, and link to other governmental agencies. Click to visit the DCCA Website.
The DCCA Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) offers these tips to help Hawaii consumers guard against identity theft:
- Treat Your Personal Information Like Money – It’s Worth It
Manage your personal information wisely. Protect information such as your home address, home telephone number, Social Security number, bank and credit card account numbers, and PIN numbers as if they are worth money – because they are.
- Don’t Carry Your Social Security Card In Your Wallet
It’s an open invitation to an identity thief. Check your health plan and other cards. They may have your Social Security number on them. Carry only the identifying information that you need.
- Shred Papers
Shred papers with personal information before you throw them away. Shred credit card offers and “convenience checks” that you don’t use.
For more identity theft tips, click here.