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04-28-97

08-14-95


Identity Theft and Fraud QUIZ!
Identity thieves use many methods to steal your key personal and financial information to sell, use to drain your accounts, or set up new accounts using your good name. How much do you know about identity theft, related fraud, and how to reduce your risks?

Take this quiz and see how you score!
  1. When I keep my ATM cards and credit cards in my wallet,

    a. I write my PIN (Personal Identification Number) on all my cards
     
    b. I never write my PIN on any of my cards.
     
    c. I keep a note in my wallet with all of my PIN codes, listed by card/account.  
     

     
  2. When I leave my house, I take

    a. only the ATM and credit cards I need for personal or business purchases.
     
    b. every ATM and credit card I own. You can never have enough plastic on hand!
     
    c. no ATM or credit cards. I always keep them locked in my vault, at home, guarded by wolves.  
     

     
  3. When I get my monthly credit-card bills,

    a. I weep uncontrollably, sigh, dry my eyes, and hide the bills, unopened. I'll look at them when I'm ready to pay them.
     
    b. I find the amount owed, mail a check, and throw away or file the statement. I only look at all the specific charges if I've lost my card or have reason to think I'm a victim of identity theft.
     
    c. I open them, immediately, and always look carefully at the specific transactions charged to my account before I pay the bills.  
     

     
  4. When I get my monthly bank statements, credit-card bills, or other documents with personal financial information on them,

    a. I throw them away once I've read and/or paid them and don't need them any more, or keep them in a giant stack in the corner.
     
    b. I always shred them before putting them in the trash.
     
    c. I sprinkle them liberally with battery acid and rat poison before putting them in the trash, in case someone tries to steal them.  
     

     
  5. When I get mail saying I've been "pre-approved" for a credit card or loan, and don't want to accept the offer or activate that card,
     
    a. I throw that junk mail in the trash, un-opened, the moment I enter the house.
     
    b. I stack the ones I might be interested on top of the big stack over on the counter/table/desk, and throw the rest in the trash.
     
    c. I always tear up or shred the pre-approval forms before putting them in the trash.  
     

     
  6. I request a copy of my credit report
     
    a. monthly.
     
    b. at least once a year.
     
    c. only when I think I'm a victim of identity theft.  
     

     
  7. If the volume of the mail I get at home has dropped off substantially,
     
    a. I praise my lucky stars, particularly if any bills are missing!
     
    b. I interrogate my neighbors, using whatever force is needed to get them to reveal who's stealing my mail.
     
    c. I always check with my local post office to see if anyone has improperly filed a change-of-address card in my name.  
     

     
  8. If I find all kinds of cookies in my computer, and web bugs all over my hard drive,
     
    a. I stop eating cookies near my computer, and use a bug bomb/fogger to clear up the infestation.
     
    b. I either buy a new computer, or take the infected one to my local computer repair shop, along with a substantial stack of money. Cleaning infected computers is both dangerous and expensive.
     
    c. I use my up-to-date anti-virus and spyware-monitoring software to clean up any nasties that have found their way into my computer, via email or Internet surfing.  
     

     
  9. The following identifying information should be "printed" on all your personal checks:
     
    a. Your name, address, phone number, date of birth, drivers license number and/or SSN —any identifying information a merchant is likely to ask you for. The more info that's printed on your checks, the less time you'll spend in lines or at checkout counters, hence less chance of shoulder-surfers.
     
    b. Only your name and social security number. By law that's all you're required to provide.
     
    c. Only your name and address.  
     

     
  10. If I think that I may be a victim of identity theft,
     
    a. I immediately go to court and have my name legally changed. You have to stay one jump ahead of these identity thieves.
     
    b. I contact my credit card companies and request that they raise my credit limit until things are resolved, so the identity thief can't max out my account.
     
    c. I immediately contact
    1. the three major credit bureaus to inform them of the situation,
    2. any businesses where the identity thief fraudulently conducted transactions in my name,
    3. my local police department to have an officer take a report, and
    4. the Federal Trade Commission to report the situation and get guidance on how to deal with it.
     


Your Score is now: out of 10


How did you score on this quiz?

Remember that identity thieves, unlike muggers or robbers, don't need to have any personal contact with you in order to commit their crimes. The more you do to protect your key personal information, the lower the odds that you'll become a victim of identity theft.



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