Online scholarships or loans: There are
several online scholarships or loans, which may not be
overtly fraudulent. However, the applications for these
scholarships or loans often involve personal questions that
give scammers all the information necessary to steal your
identity, or to sell the information to spammers or
marketers. Often, you don’t ‘win’ the scholarship because
it’s rarely granted to any applicant, or the amount is so
small that it does not offset the cost of identity theft or
the spamming. This can also be applied to loan applications.
Social networking sites: You have several
online profiles on social networking sites, which ask you to
fill out personal information about your family, you
friends, your school and your activities. Scammers can steal
your identity by looking at your ‘profile’ and using that
information to eventually gain access to your identity.
HOW CAN CONSUMERS PROTECT THEMSELVES?
Make sure to research any organization offering
scholarships or loans – ask for references, get a local
telephone listing, and ask for lists of scholarships or
loans they've awarded, and how often.
Limit the amount of personal information on your social
networking profiles. Guard your interaction online to only
those people you personally know and can trust.
HOW TO REPORT IF YOU'VE BEEN A VICTIM
Federal Trade Commission (FTC): Contact
the FTC (1-202-FTC-HELP) to report a scholarship or loan
Ohio Attorney General’s office: If you’ve
been the victim of identity theft via the Internet, you
should contact the Ohio Attorney General’s office
Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3):
You may also contact the IC3 at
www.ic3.gov. The IC3 is a partnership between the
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National White
Collar Crime Center. Complaints submitted to the IC3 cover
an array of cyber crime and fraud schemes to include
Place a fraud alert on your credit reports and review your
credit reports carefully. The alert tells creditors to
follow certain procedures before they open new accounts in
your name or make changes to your existing accounts. The
three nationwide consumer reporting companies have toll-free
numbers for placing an initial 90-day fraud alert; a call to
one company is sufficient:
Placing a fraud alert entitles you to free copies of your
credit reports. Look for inquiries from companies you
haven’t contacted, accounts you did not open, and debts on
your accounts that you can’t explain.
Close accounts that have been tampered with or established
Call the security or fraud departments of each company
where an account was opened or changed without your
approval. Follow-up in writing, with copies of supporting
documents, including your identity theft report.
For more information on identity theft, visit these
Copyright 2011. Hamilton County Ohio. 138 E. Court Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202.
Information on this site is for informational purposes only and is believed to be true and accurate. This information should not be considered as legal advice and Hamilton County disclaims any liability for errors or omissions. External links to other sites are intended to supplement information on this website and do not have the endorsement of Hamilton County.