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 age 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 millions Americans data, according to the company. A related dollar amount is still to be determined.
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.
Resources to get started
- 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 or 1.877.844.5461 (TTY).
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:
- Federal Trade Commission (FTC): home page and identity theft page
- National Consumer Law Center »
- Consumers Union »
- Identity Theft Resource Center »
- Privacy Rights Clearinghouse »
- Electronic Privacy Information »
- 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.