University of Missouri Extension

Identity Theft

Your wallet’s been stolen and you’ve reported your credit card loss to your creditors. But high credit charges can be the least of your worries. Your identity can be stolen. Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes of the 90's and defrauds more than 1000 people a year out of billions of dollars.

The dollars are not the real problem. Federal law limits consumer’s liability to $50 per account when reported within 48 hours.

The non-dollar damages are far worse. Your credit rating can be ruined, you risk being rejected for loans and it is up to you to repair damages. Using your good name, an identity thief can borrow money, file for bankruptcy and even give you a criminal record. If you become a victim of identity theft, report the crime to the police immediately.

Source: Dollar, P. (1999, November). Someone stole my identity. Life at Lincoln University, 11.

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Last updated: March 09, 2005
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Kate Akers
Mark Belwood
Cynthia Crawford
Sandra McKinnon
Diana Hammond

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