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Identity Theft

Identity Theft is the most popular and profitable form of consumer fraud.  It occurs when someone steals your personal information, such as your name, Social Security number, credit card number or other identifying information, to commit fraud or other crimes.  Although there is no way to completely protect yourself from identity theft, being diligent in protecting your private information is a great start.  Check out the links below to get started.

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/topics/identity-theft

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/feature-0014-identity-theft

https://consumer.gov/scams-identity-theft/imposter-scams

https://www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/consumers/hotline.html

Password Security

What is a STRONG password? Quite simply, password strength is a measure of how easily a password can be guessed, by either humans or computers. A “strong” password contains a combination of letters, numbers, and characters that are difficult to predict. Below are a few links with more detailed recommendations on how to create a secure password.

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/password-checklist

https://us-cert.cisa.gov/ncas/tips/ST04-002

http://www.passwordmeter.com/

Elder Financial Exploitation

Unfortunately, elder financial exploitation is a fast-growing form of abuse of seniors and/or adults with disabilities.  And 90% of abusers are family members or trusted persons such as caretakers, neighbors, and friends/acquaintances.  Financial exploitation can take many forms such as taking advantage of joint bank accounts, overcharging for services, grandparent scams, and lottery scams.  The following links provide more information to educate yourself and protect your loved ones.

https://www.aba.com/advocacy/community-programs/consumer-resources/protect-your-money/elderly-financial-abuse

https://www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/seniors/index.html

https://www2.illinois.gov/aging/ProtectionAdvocacy/Pages/abuse_financial.aspx

https://www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/news/april2019.html

Online Shopping Safety

From the convenience of one-click ordering to the lure of next-day delivery, online shopping has grown tremendously over the last few years.  But online shopping isn’t just good for consumers and businesses, it’s good business for fraudsters and cybercriminals.  Check out the links below to learn how to protect yourself when shopping online.

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/online-shopping

https://us-cert.cisa.gov/ncas/tips/ST07-001

Fraud Alerts and Reporting

Stay up-to-date with the most current frauds and scams by visiting the links below.

https://fraud.org/fraud-alerts/

https://www.ic3.gov/Home/ConsumerAlerts

And use the following sites to report a fraud or scam to the authorities.

Federal Trade Commission: https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/#/?pid=B

Illinois Attorney General’s office: https://illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/consumers/filecomplaint.html

Better Business Bureau: https://www.bbb.org/