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Identity Theft: Minimizing Your Risk

What is Identity Theft?

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.

Each year, millions of Americans have their identity stolen. Consumers whose identities have been stolen can spend years clearing up their good name and credit. The best way to help prevent becoming a victim of Identity Theft is to safeguard your personal information.

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minimize your risk of identity theft

Unfortunately, nothing can guarantee that you won't become a victim of identity theft. There are however, ways you can minimize your risk, and minimize the damage if a problem develops, by making it more difficult for identity thieves to access your personal information.

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Identity Protection - Take action

If you are a victim of identity theft, take the following four steps as soon as possible, and keep good records with the details of your conversations and copies of all correspondence.

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identify suspicious activity

Having your information lost or stolen can be a frightening experience, and you may worry about how the information may be misused if it falls into the wrong hands. You might be in this situation if, for example, your wallet was stolen; you responded to a phishing email; or you were notified that a company experienced a data breach and lost some of your data. Fortunately, if your data may have been accessed without authorization, there are steps you can take to detect misuse that has already occurred and to help prevent potential future misuse.

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American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a nonprofit credit counseling agency offering services such as debt advice, debt consolidation programs, and consumer bankruptcy counseling. We have provided thousands of families with financial counseling and helped them with consolidating bills and paying off credit cards. For consumers in need of bankruptcy counseling, ACCC is approved by the Department of Justice to provide both pre bankruptcy credit counseling and post-bankruptcy debtor education.

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