Identity Theft Prevention

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Wichita State University's Identity Theft Prevention policy is outlined in the Policies and Procedures manual, Link13.15 / Identity Theft Prevention *.

To add to the policy, below is some information and tips that you can use to help prevent someone from stealing your identity.

How Identity Theft is Committed

  • "Dumpster Diving" - Going through personal or business trash looking for anything with personal information.
  • "Shoulder Surfing" - Watching a victim punch in a PIN number at an ATM or enter a telephone credit-card number.
  • "Y2K trick" - Tricking a victim over the phone to divulge personal identifying information or financial information.
  • "Pretext" - Posing as someone who legitimately and legally needs information about a victim, such as a landlord or employer.
  • Pickpocketing.
  • Over the Internet by gaining access to databases containing dates of birth, social security numbers and mother's maiden names.
  • Employees with access to accounts or credit card numbers who then sell or uses this information.

How to Protect Yourself

Shred all pre-approved credit card offers

  • If you decide not to take advantage of an offer, shred or tear it into very small pieces before throwing it away.
  • Shred any papers with confidential information in them; any account number may be used in identity theft. This includes receipts, canceled checks, bank statements and expired charge cards, medical bills and insurance documents.
  • If you don't want to receive pre-approved credit card offers, call Phone 1-888-5-OPT-OUT (1-888-567-8688) to remove your name from major credit bureau lists.

Limit the amount of cards in your wallet

  • Since many identity thefts are traced back to a stolen purse or wallet, carry as few cards with identification and personal information as possible.
  • Don't carry your social security card in your wallet. Keep it in a secure location.
  • Bring only one credit card with you when you shop. Place cards in different places to avoid losing them if your wallet or purse is stolen.

Protect personal information

  • Experts suggest that you don't print your Social Security number, driver's license number, phone number or date of birth on checks.
  • Be wary of any mail, telephone or Internet requests for information.
  • Unless you have initiated the contact with the business, don't give out any confidential information such as a credit card number, Social Security number, PIN, birth date or your mother's maiden name.
  • Be careful with e-mails that appear to be from a legitimate company asking you to enter information at a linked web site; they may be phony.
  • Only a few institutions such as businesses granting you credit, employers filling out tax forms or government agencies have legitimate reasons asking for your Social Security number. If a business refuses to serve you if you don't provide the number, go elsewhere.

Check all Statements

  • Check banking and credit statements as soon as you receive them. Look for unexplained charges or activity.
  • Keep track of when your bill arrives each month and if it is late, call the company and check to see if any changes have been made to your account.

* - This link leaves the FINANCIAL OPERATIONS & BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY website.