About Identify Theft

April 6, 2012
Every day, millions of Americans fall victim to Identity Theft. This happens when criminals trick unwary consumers into giving them sensitive, personal information which they then use for fraudulent and illegal purposes. People who experience identity theft report feeling frustrated and vulnerable when this occurs. In the aftermath of identity theft there are usually many serious financial issues and problems which have to be dealt with immediately. Creditors have to be informed as well as the credit reporting bureaus. Many consumers find the process of reclaiming their identity difficult and time-consuming. Often they have problems finding answers to their various questions.

Unfortunately, nearly 80% of identity theft victims do not discover the crime until well after it has occurred. Whenever this happens, it is extremely important that the identity theft is recognized and steps are taken to prevent any further damage to personal finances and information. At, we are firmly committed to helping our customers avoid the emotional trauma and great inconvenience that come from having your personal identity stolen. Our network of lenders has earned a stellar reputation of trust and integrity among our customers. We use the latest online security and encryption techniques available (including GeoTrust, a leading provider of secure communications) which allow consumers to make safe and secure transactions each time they access our services. Whether our customers are looking for an online payday loan or perhaps a fast payday loan, they can be confident that their personal information is protected.

Common Identity Theft Techniques
You can’t really put a price on your identity. It is truly one of your most valuable possessions. It defines who you are. It allows you to form relationships, communicate with others, and buy and sell all types of products.

When a criminal exploits an identity for their own personal gain, it most often leaves the victim feeling overwhelmed, helpless, and violated. It can sometimes take several years and cost thousands of dollars to fully recover from identity theft. For these reasons, Check’n Go wants to provide you with the following information which can help you avoid becoming victimized by scammers and identity thieves. Consumers who are aware and mindful of the techniques and methods used by criminals are far less likely to fall victim to identity theft.

Scam artists are very creative people. As anti-spyware and anti-virus tools continually advance, these criminals look for new and devious ways to access your personal information. Some techniques are very elaborate and may look like real web pages or emails from legitimate banks and businesses. If consumers are unaware of these tactics, they can easily give away their personal information to an identity thief without realizing it.

Below we have listed some of the more common techniques used by criminals to defraud individuals of their private information. Please review them carefully so that you can avoid becoming a victim.
  • Malware (also known as Spyware) - Malware is malicious software installed on a computer that can damage or access sensitive information without the owner's expressed consent.
  • Phishing - Phishing e-mails try to lure unsuspecting consumers into giving up personal and/or financial information.
  • Pharming - Pharming is an attack aimed at redirecting users from an authentic, secure site to a fraudulent site that looks just like the original.
  • SMiShing (phishing via SMS text message) - SMiShing begins when a text message alerts cell phone users that they have signed up for a company's services and will soon be charged unless they log on to the company's website to cancel the subscription. This website is fraudulent and often asks visitors for their personal information, encourages them to download a Trojan horse, adds spyware to their computer, or attempts to victimize them with many of the other techniques described here.
  • Spam - Spam victims receive unwelcomed bulk messages, usually through email or text message. These notices can be simple promotions or more dangerous scams.
  • Spearphishing - Spearphishing techniques involve a large amount of deception on the part of the criminals. Spearphishers typically send out an email where they impersonate an employee from a specific organization in order to get personal information from unsuspecting recipients.
  • Spyware - also known as Malware (see above).
  • Trojan horse - A Trojan horse is a form of malware that initially seems beneficial. Once it is loaded onto a computer, the program performs corrupt tasks without the owner knowing or authorizing it.
  • Vishing – Vishing schemes occur when consumers are asked to call a phone number and then an operator requests specific personal information as a security requirement.
Other Identity Theft Techniques
  • Dumpster Diving – Sensitive personal information may be thrown away with the common trash. It is extremely easy for identity thieves to access this information.
  • Stolen Mail - Sensitive financial and personal information can be taken from unsecured mailboxes.
Identifying Secure Websites

Before entering your personal information on any website, make sure you are dealing with a legitimate and secure website. Here are a few steps which can help you keep your information safe.
  • Examine the web address. If the website address begins with “https://”, that is a secure website. A site which begins with “http://” is not necessarily secure. Notice that the only difference between the two web sites is the letter “s”.
  • Check for the padlock on the status bar. If you see a locked padlock icon in the lower right corner of your web browser, you can be confident that you are viewing a secure web page.
  • Read all small window messages carefully. Pay attention to small pop-up windows if they appear on the webpage you are reading. Many times they contain a warning or message indicating that you are leaving a secure site. These messages can alert you to when you shouldn’t give out personal information online.
More Identity Theft Prevention Tips
  • Stay proactive. Keep informed about scamming techniques. Be aware of what you need to do if you become a victim of identity theft.
  • Take action when approached by possible scams. If you receive an email which you suspect might be a “phishing” tactic, forward the message to the following email address: [email protected]. If the email appears to have come from your actual bank, you can also contact the specific bank’s security and fraud department and inform them of the situation. You should NEVER reply to a phishing email or click on any link contained within the email. Additionally, DO NOT cut and paste any links in the suspected email into your web browser.
  • Maintain a watchful eye on your credit report and financial statements. Monitor your financial records frequently. This includes banking transactions and credit card activity. Be certain that any charges contained in the statements are legitimate and were made by you or any other authorized user. Periodically check your credit report and look for any unusual activity or inaccurate information.
  • Verify the source that asks for your information. Unless you have initiated the contact, NEVER give out personal information over the phone, through the mail, or via the internet.
  • Use complex passwords. Whenever you set up a username and password online, make sure the password is complex and strong. It should include a mixture of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols which are not easily obtainable. Do not use sequential numbers or any set of numbers that relates to a birthday, anniversary, etc.
  • Shred personal information before discarding it. Buying a small paper shredding machine may be one of the smartest investments you can make. Make it a habit to shred anything that contains personal information- even just your name and address. Papers containing personal data that are thrown away in the trash are a gift to identity thieves. Don’t make it easy!
  • Protect your Social Security number. NEVER carry your Social Security card with you in your purse or wallet. DO NOT give your Social Security number (or list it on paperwork) to anyone unless you are absolutely certain of their identity. If your driver’s license or insurance card uses your Social Security number as the account number, ask to have it changed.
Resources for Victims of Identity Theft and/or Fraud
Sometimes, no matter how careful and vigilant you are, you can fall victim to a scam artist or identity thief. When and if this happens, you can easily become overwhelmed with the amount of phone calls and paperwork that you have to handle while trying to fix your financial situation. If you have the misfortune of falling prey to any of these criminal activities, the resources listed below can help get you started on reclaiming your personal identity and getting your financial situation back on track.

Telemarketing and Check Fraud
If you unknowingly become involved in a fraudulent check scheme or give personal financial information to a telemarketer and then notice unauthorized charges on your telephone bill or credit card statement, immediately report the incident to the National Fraud Information Center using the NFIC incident report form, or by calling 1-800-876-7060.
NFIC will evaluate your claim and pass on information regarding the incident to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), your state attorney general, and your local consumer protection program.

Identity Theft
Time is of the essence when you are dealing with identity theft. If you lose your purse or wallet, become aware of fraudulent charges on any of your accounts, or have any suspicion that you may be the victim of identity theft, contact all of your creditors and make them aware of the situation. Your stolen credit cards should all be cancelled and new ones issued to you.

You should contact one of the three major credit reporting agencies as soon as you notice any suspicious activity on any financial account. Each agency has a fraud alert reporting line and you may contact them through this service. Once contacted, the agency will forward your fraud alert to the remaining credit bureaus. Specific contact information and additional instructions can be viewed online at,, or

After you have contacted your creditors and the major credit reporting agencies, you should file an official complaint to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Complaints can be completed using the FTC Complaint Assistant form available here. Once submitted, print your official complaint and cover letter.

Last but not least, contact your local law enforcement agency to file an official police report. Indicate that this is an identity theft crime and ask them to include your FTC Identity Theft complaint form with their report. When you receive a copy of this report, keep it in a safe place and have the identification number on hand whenever you speak with someone about the issue. You should offer the official police report ID number to your financial institutions and creditors so that they can include it in their case files dealing with your claims.