Below, find resources to help protect yourself from identity theft and some steps you can take if you have become a victim of identity theft or unemployment insurance fraud.
The threat of identity theft looms large in the United States. Consider the numbers: in 2016, roughly 15.4 U.S. citizens were affected, with an estimated $16 billion stolen, according to Javelin Strategy & Research. From the Bureau of Justice Statistics, in 2014, about 7 percent of people aged 16 or older were victims of identity theft, similar to findings in 2012. And a fall 2017 Equifax data breach may have exposed up to 143 million Americans’ data, according to the company. A related dollar amount is still to be determined.
Resources to get started
Here are free resources you can access from anywhere, anytime informing you on steps to take to protect yourself, and what to do if you are a victim. Want to speak to a librarian directly? Call our reference desk at 708.452.3480 during open library hours.
- Illinois Identity Theft Resource Guide: step-by-step actions to take as a victim.
- Illinois Attorney General Identity Theft: general resource page; toll-free Identity Theft Hotline: 1.866.999.5630 (for individuals with communication disabilities, dial 711).
Resources for reporting unemployment insurance fraud
- Report a fraudulent claim to the Illinois Department of Employment Security »
- Report the fraud to your employer. Keep a copy of any confirmation you get.
- Report the fraud to the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) by completing an NCDF Complaint Form online or by calling 866.720.5721.
- Protect your credit by considering the actions listed here »
Credit union websites
To check on your reports or freeze your accounts:
Websites recommended by our librarians
Want to go more in-depth on online privacy, identity, and security? Try these websites:
- Consumers Union »
- Electronic Privacy Information »
- Federal Trade Commission (FTC): home page and identity theft page
- Identity Theft Resource Center »
- National Consumer Law Center »
- Privacy Rights Clearinghouse »
- USA.gov »
- Village of Oak Park Police Department »
The topic of identity theft is constantly evolving. To keep current on the most recent happenings, use trustworthy information from online resources to search articles and periodicals on the topic.