Utah individuals and businesses have a number of resources to protect themselves from identity theft.
The Utah Attorney General's Office has a website dedicated to educating Utahns on the perils of identity theft, with tips on how to prevent it and where to report it should you be the victim of such a crime.
One emphasis is on protecting your child from having his or her identity stolen and used by thieves. Here are some tips :
• Keep your child's Social Security number in a safe location and out of view.
• Take notice of mailed offers of pre approved credit to your child, a possible indication someone has established a credit history in your child's name.
• Contact TransUnion, one of the three major credit reporting agencies, to determine if there is activity on credit files or public records with your child's Social Security number.
• Be careful about placing information about your child on social networks and other Internet sites.
• Shred documents containing identifying information such as Social Security numbers, phone numbers, names, addresses, account numbers, medical records and school records before disposing of them.
• Keep financial records, Social Security numbers and other personal identifying information locked up.
More information about identity theft and where to report it can be found on the Utah Attorney General's website at http://idtheft.utah.gov.
The Utah-based Identity Theft Protection Association also warns that businesses are often the targets of identity theft and can lose much more money than individuals to that type of crime.
Businesses can fall victim to thieves gleaning crucial information from public records or hacking into their computer systems and then using the material to steal credit or even take money directly from their bank accounts.
The group offers resources for businesses at http://www.itpaonline.org.