Identity Theft & Phishing

The federal government reports that identity theft is now the fastest-growing financial crime.

Every 79 seconds, a thief steals someone's identity and opens accounts in the victim's name.

To better protect New Jersey residents against identity theft, the Identity Theft Prevention Act took effect on January 1, 2006.

New Jersey's Law

• Requires local law enforcement agencies to take a police report from you if you claim you have been the victim of identity theft;

• Permits you to place a security freeze on your consumer report which prohibits consumer reporting agencies from releasing your report to a third party without your permission;

• Requires public entities to destroy your records, if they contain personal information, when files are purged;

• Requires businesses or public entities that compile or maintain computerized records that include personal information to disclose any breach of security of those computerized records to any New Jersey resident whose personal information is believed to have been accessed by an unauthorized person; and

• Prohibits any public or private entity from posting or displaying your Social Security number, printing your Social Security number on any materials sent through the mail or intentionally making your Social Security number available to the general public or transmitting it over the Internet unless the number is encrypted.