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  • Identity Theft & Protection

    Identity Theft
    Helpful Videos from the FTC

    The Federal Trade Commission has great consumer information videos where you can learn about scams and the best ways to protect yourself from them at this link.

    Identity theft

    Identity theft is the crime of using forged or stolen identification documents (birth certificates, social security cards, passports, etc.), usernames and passwords, or other personal information (banking pins, credit card numbers, etc.) for any purpose at all.

    For more information visit these sites:
    The Federal Trade Commission
    and check out this infographic:

    Identity Theft Infographic     Child ID Theft

    5 Ways to protect yourself from identity theft

    1. Read your credit card and bank statements carefully and often.

    2. Know your payment due dates. If a bill doesn't show up when you expect it, look into it.

    3. Read the statements from your health insurance plan. Make sure the claims paid match the care you got.

    4. Shred any documents with personal and financial information.

    5. Review each of your three credit reports at least once a year. It's easy, and it's free.

    For more tips and tools on dealing with identity theft, visit The Federal Trade Commission

    How thieves do it: 

    Dumpster diving through trash for bills, bank statements or pre-approved credit card offerings 

    Skimming, using electronic card readers to collect data from magnetic strips 

    SMShing, phishing, spear phishing, vishing, pharming, and spoofing scams (i.e. fraudulent email messages/text messages and websites)

    Telephone, by impersonating a legitimate organization to obtain personal information

    Changing your address, diverting your billing statements to another location by completing change of address form

    Hacking, spyware, Trojan horses, viruses that log keystrokes, or even purchase info online

    Data compromise by businesses or organizations 

    Old fashioned stealing wallets, purses, mail, personnel records, or even bribe employees who have access

    7 Signs of a scam

    1.  The company or person does not provide their address or phone number where they can be reached.

    2.  They require you to act immediately on the information they provide you.

    3.  It's to good to be true.

    4.  You're asked to move money.

    5.  The webpage prevents you from leaving the page by using pop-ups or hijacks your browser.  (close the browser and clear your history and cookies if this happens.  If the browser does not close shut down the computer.)

    6.  You receive official or professional looking mail, but the company or logo is unfamiliar.

    7.  Search engines turn up negative results such as complaints or warnings.

    What to do if your scammed

    As soon as you think your information is compromised, report it to government authorities such as:

    Federal Trade Commission

    State/Local officials Consumer Action

    Postal Inspector

    Internet Crime Complaint Center

    Better Business Bureau

    1. Place a fraud alert on your credit reports and review your credit reports

    2. Close any accounts, including bank accounts, you know or suspect have been tampered with

    3. File a police report in the community where the ID theft took place

    4. File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and Wisconsin Office of Privacy Protection

    5. Cancel government-issued ID and obtain a replacement if appropriate

    Identity theft stats 

    Who are identity thieves: 

        Unknown Individuals = 70%
        Employee of business that had personal information = 13%
        Relative = 11%
        Friend or roommate = 10%
        Co-worker = 5%
        Former spouse or significant other = 4%
        Care giver of elderly or disabled = 2%

    Becoming a victim: the odds

        Violent crime = 1 in 5,000
        Heart disease = 1 in 2,600
        Car accident = 1 in 130     
        ID theft = 1 in 23 (9 million/year in U.S.)
        ID theft within 5 yrs = 1 in 5
        $6 – 10 billion loss in U.S. due to identity theft (estimates)
    Federal Trade Commission videos


    IMC! prezi presentation: Identity protection

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    Interesting Facts 

    If the money you spend in four years at a public college was a stack of pennies, it could reach more than 8.5 miles high, higher than most airplanes fly.

     84% of college students have a credit card.  50% of them have 4 or more.

    The average total debt for the Class of 2013 is $35,200.

    There will be approximately $1,200,000,000,000 in circulation in 2013.

    $67,000,000,000 in student loans were in default in 2011.


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