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What are the different types of identity theft?

Mail Fraud - If consumers send and receive mail in a secure mailbox, then they minimize their risk. If an identity thief has stolen a person's mail, he or she should report it to their local postal inspector. Locate the nearest postal inspector by contacting the local post office or check the Postal Service Web site at

Financial Institution Fraud - If consumers check their monthly account statements and put the least amount of information on their checks, then they minimize their risk. If consumers believe that an identity thief has tampered with their bank accounts, checks, or ATM card, they should close accounts immediately. If their ATM card has been lost, stolen, or otherwise compromised, cancel the card immediately. When opening new accounts, request password-only access to minimize risk.

Internet Fraud - Internet scams are like old wine in new bottles: Telemarketing and mail fraud scams now come to you from cyberspace.

Foreign Lottery Scams - It’s illegal to play foreign lotteries in the United States. But another reason not to play is that you are almost guaranteed to lose. And once you play, you can count on receiving more “chances” to play -- and lose.

Work-at-Home Scams - They Just Don't Pay. Working at home is attractive to stay-at-home moms, college students, and retirees. While some jobs are legitimate, others don't deliver on their promises.

Dialing for Dollars - Telemarketing Fraud. Telemarketing fraud costs Americans millions of dollars each year. And when it comes to phony investment "opportunities," older Americans are prime targets.

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