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Your identity is one of the most valuable things you own. It's important to keep your identity from being stolen by someone who can potentially harm your good name and financial well-being. Identity theft occurs when someone uses your name, address, Social Security Number, credit card or financial account numbers, passwords, and other personal information without your knowledge to commit fraud or other crimes. While the words may sound like a foreign language -- Phishing, Pharming, Vishing, Spyware, Dumpster Diving -- they are actually techniques used by thieves to put your identity and finances at risk. And their attacks grow more frequent and sophisticated every year. Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in the United States. According to US Department of Justice statistics, it's now passing drug trafficking as the number one crime in America.
The simple fact is you can protect yourself against most forms of identity theft. The first step is education. To make it easier to understand, we've divided identity theft into the five "Danger Zones." Take a few moments to learn about each of the Danger Zones and the steps you can take to avoid being a victim.
If your identity has been stolen, you need to take immediate action to limit the damage and protect your good name.