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Avoiding Identity Theft and Fraud
Identity theft is a hot topic these days. Seldom does a day go by without a news item describing a "phishing" attack, or personal data being stolen from an enterprise.
If identity theft affects you personally, you can suffer immediate financial losses and also the added burden of reestablishing your credit rating - a task that (for some people) can take years.
Although many people mistakenly consider identity theft to be purely a computer crime, it's not. Many identity thefts - perhaps the majority of incidents - start with the physical theft of information or a social engineering attack designed to trick an unwary person into revealing critical personal information. But the nature of the Internet has also made it much easier for criminals to exploit the thefts, and even to sell identities to other criminals thus compounding the problem for the victim.
And although many people are aware of the dangers of identity theft, they're not certain how identity thefts actually occurs, how to minimize the risks, or how to react if they become victims themselves.
In this section, we'll tell you a little more about how identity theft happens, how to avoid it, and what to do if it strikes you.

Featured Links
  • Oregon State Resources
  • Free Annual Credit Report 
    The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. You can access your credit report through this Web site. For more details about your rights under FCRA, please see the FTC Web site 
  • The Fraud Center
    The Fraud Center's mission is to give consumers the information they need to avoid becoming victims of telemarketing and Internet fraud and to help them get their compliants to law enforcement agencies quickly and easily.
  • ID Theft FaceOff (game)
    Your identity's been stolen! Luckily this time you just need to correctly answer some questions on protecting your identity to get it back. Try your luck with this game from OnGuard Online.
  • ID Theft Center
    Identity Theft Resource Center (TRC) is a nonprofit, nationally respected organization dedicated exclusively to the understanding and prevention of identity theft.

OCITPA - The Oregon Consumer Identity Theft Protection Act
The Oregon Consumer Identity Theft Protection Act (OCITPA) provides consumers with tools to protect themselves against identity theft, and places requirements on Oregon businesses and government to protect the personal information they maintain. Here are the key provisions of the act.
  1. Security freeze: All Oregonians will be able to place a security freeze on their credit file maintained by a credit reporting agency such as Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion.
  2. Notification of a breach: Anyone (business, organization, or individual) who maintains personal information of Oregon consumers will be required to notify his or her customers if computer files containing that personal information have been subject to a security breach.
  3. Protection of Social Security numbers: OCITPA prohibits anyone (with some exceptions) from printing Social Security numbers on cards or documents or publicly displaying or posting a Social Security number.
  4. Safeguarding personal information: Anyone (business, organization, or individual) who collects personal information from an individual must develop, implement and maintain reasonable safeguard to protect the security and confidentiality of the information.
For more information, please follow one of the links below.

Online Course: Avoiding Identity Theft
Here's a short (about 30 minute) online course that will help you to understand some of the ways that identity theft can happen, what preventative steps can be taken to minimize the risks, and what to do should the worst happen.

Click here to start
the course
Topics covered in the course:
  • What is identity theft?
  • The potential impact
  • Who is affected?
  • How identity theft happens.
  • Examples including:
    • Mail theft.
    • Dumpster diving.
    • Burglary and car prowl.
    • Fake Web sites and e-mails.
    • Bribery/corrupt employees.
    • Password cracking.
  • Mail redirection.
  • Dealing with paper.
  • Taking care online.
  • SSL protected sites.
  • Drivers licenses and other cards.
  • Spotting and reacting to identity theft.
  • Checking your statements.
  • Watching for missing statements.
  • Regular credit checks.
  • 3 immediate actions to take if you're a victim.

More Links

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