Identity Theft Awareness Week

ID Theft Awareness Week is Jan 29-Feb 2, 2024

What is identity theft?

Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information without your permission. The thief may use your information to impersonate you allowing them to open fraudulent accounts, access your accounts, file insurance claims, and make purchases. Often identity theft turns into fraud when thieves steal your data and sell it on the black market for others to use in criminal activity.

What are some of the most coveted pieces of personally identifiable information, also known as PII?

  • Social Security number
  • Driver’s license or passport number
  • Bank card number and PIN
  • Financial account information
  • Health insurance number
  • Tax information

How do thieves gain access to your information?

  • Sending fraudulent emails, text messages, and phone calls
  • Fake websites requesting your information
  • Shoulder surfers watching you enter your PIN or password
  • Dumpster diving for documents
  • Card skimmers that steal your credit/debit card numbers at the point of sale
  • Researching public documents, court documents, and information found on the internet
  • Purchasing your compromised information on the dark web

How can you protect your identity?


  • Check your accounts frequently for suspicious activity
  • Check your credit reports regularly on
  • Use unique passwords for all accounts
  • Use multi-factor authentication
  • Keep software on all devices updated
  • Use anti-virus software on all devices
  • Shred bank and credit card statements, canceled checks, credit card offers, and bills with account information.
  • Consider using a lockable mailbox for your home


  • Never write down passwords or PINs
  • Never provide personal information to someone asking via a phone call, email, or text message
  • Never download files or click links that seem suspicious

For more information about protecting yourself and your family from identity theft, visit the FTC’s Identity Theft website.

Page last updated 10:39 AM, January 30, 2024