What can I do to protect myself from identity theft?

· Safeguard your personal information:

· Don't keep all of your personal information in one place; if a thief gets to it, he or she has everything! Make up "difficult" passwords for online accounts, and use different passwords at each site you access;

· Don’t provide personal information over the internet when using a public computer, e.g., at a library, school or community center, because this information may be accessible to others who use that computer after you;

· Avoid saying your personal information, particularly your Social Security Number, out loud in public;

· Don’t give away your personal information;

· Be aware of the risks of social media: If you post too much information about yourself on social media, an identity thief can find out information about your life;

· Actively monitor your accounts and bank statements;

· Check your credit report at least once a year;

· Shred or destroy any documentation, which contains your personal information.

Scams and Unfair Business Practices

Trust your instinct, if you think you have just been scammed then you likely have. Some people and businesses will do and say anything to get your money. Many Illinois state laws protect consumers who have been scammed by shady businesses. Under Illinois state law it is generally considered an unfair business practice to:

-Sell defective products;

-To pad a bill with hidden fees, false charges;

-Fail to inform a consumer about their rights in a payday, or car title loan;

-Overcharge a customer for a good or service;

-Lie in an advertisement as to the quality or benefits of an product.