Spearheaded by the Department of Business & Industry

Nevada Fight Fraud



Identity Theft

Identity theft occurs when a criminal uses another person's personal information to take on that person's identity. Identity theft is much more than misuse of a Social Security number-it can also include credit card and mail fraud, but there are many ways to protect yourself.

For information on Identity Theft and related laws in Nevada, click here.

Tips to Avoid Identity Theft

  1. Know what’s in your wallet. Avoid carrying your Social Security number in your wallet or purse. This number provides access to personal information, and it should be stored in a safe and protected place. In addition, only carry the credit cards you need. This practice limits access to your accounts in the event that your purse or wallet is lost or stolen. It’s also a good idea to periodically photocopy your cards and keep a record of the customer service phone numbers associated with your financial accounts to speed up the process of cancelling credit cards, if needed.

  2. Shred, Shred, Shred. Open all mail and read it carefully—even the items that might appear to be junk mail could contain personal offers. Any items with personal information, such as pre-approved credit offers, bank statements or utility bills should be shredded before being discarded.

  3. Be suspicious of solicitors. You should never give personal information or your Social Security number to people unless you have verified that they are trustworthy. This advice applies to sharing information over the phone, in-store or online.

  4. Monitor your revolving accounts and credit score. Check your bank, credit card and other financial account information along with your credit score once a year to reduce the risk of unauthorized charges or credit applications. If you see a suspicious charge, immediately contact your financial institution.

  5. Take action against unauthorized actions. If you notice a new account has been opened in your name without your permission, immediately contact one of the three major credit bureaus—Equifax, Experian or TransUnion—and ask that a “fraud alert” be placed on your record. Once the alert is placed, the other two bureaus will be notified, and creditors will be required to contact you directly before opening new accounts or making changes to existing accounts. In addition, file a police report and submit a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission. You also might consider enrolling in paid services that monitor your credit report and alert you when someone applies for credit in your name or account information is altered.

  6. Surf the Internet safely. Millions of people are online at any given time, some of whom are thieves looking to steal your identity. These hackers can be found collecting information from unsuspecting “pop-ups,” surfing unsecured networks or hacking into retail Web sites. Be sure to always use a secured network, and frequently update firewall protections on your computer. Also limit the amount of personal information you post on networking Web sites.

  7. Consider purchasing identity theft insurance. Several insurance companies offer identity theft insurance. Although it cannot protect you from becoming a victim of identity theft, this insurance provides coverage for the cost of reclaiming your financial identity, such as the expenses of placing phone calls, making copies, mailing documents, taking time off from work without pay and hiring an attorney. As with any insurance policy, make sure you understand what you are purchasing and compare prices, coverages and deductibles among multiple insurers.

Source: National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC): http://www.naic.org/Releases/2007_docs/identity_theft.htm

Last Updated: 09/14/11 08:33:53 AM

Identity Theft Hot Topics

Secrets of a former identity thief
10 ways to guard against ID theft
How thieves will steel your identity

When thieves swipe your identity

Steal your own identity

My identity was stolen! - Blogger's real-life nightmare has had lasting consequences.

Fighting Identify Theft? Let’s have a shredding party!

Please, Mr. Postman! Stop junk mail.

Your 5-minute guide to protecting your identity

How to Correct Credit Report Errors (pdf)

What to do after your identity's been stolen

Nevada Identity Theft Passport Program

Identity Theft Resources and Links

Medical Identity Theft - "Diagnosis: Identity theft"

Protecting Your Identity

Don't carry your Social Security number or card.
Never give a business or service provider your number without first determining whether it's absolutely necessary.
Ask your employer what's being done to protect your number and other personal data from theft.
Be careful when choosing a tax preparer. Remember that he or she will have access to your Social Security number and other personal financial information.
Make sure your preparer has installed updated versions of anti-spyware and anti-virus software on computers used for tax work.
When filing federal tax returns online, make sure to use services directly linked to www.irs.gov
For state tax filings, make certain to use only links directly from your state's official home page
Never respond to e-mail inquiries about your taxes. The IRS does not use e-mail to communicate about tax matters. The inquiries may be a "phishing" scheme aimed at stealing your identity.
If you get a written IRS notice that makes you think someone may have used your Social Security number fraudulently, call the IRS quickly by responding to the name and number on the notice.
Sources: IRS, Webroot Software


Click to Print This Page

Nevada Fight Fraud - Department of Business & Industry
Copyright © 2009 State of Nevada. All rights reserved
Site developed by DoIT Web Group -
 Nevada Internet Privacy Policy (PDF)

 Bookmark this page