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Identity theft occurs when someone illegally obtains your personal information (like your Social Security number, bank account number or other identification) and uses it to open new accounts or initiate transactions in your name. Essentially, someone else tries to become you. They might open new credit cards or bank accounts, forge checks or even apply for loans using your name and personal information. This can cause financial loss, damage your credit and lead to a long and stressful resolution process.
While thieves can obtain personal information via online methods, most identity theft occurs offline. Stealing wallets and purses, intercepting or rerouting your mail, and rummaging through your garbage are some of the common tactics used to obtain personal information.
If your security has been compromised, it doesn’t automatically mean that you’re a victim of identity theft. It might be an incorrect entry or an isolated incident of theft that is quickly resolved by calling Umpqua Bank at (866) 4UMPQUA [(866) 486-7782].
The good news is that the more information you have about identity theft the better your defense. For more information on Identity Theft, visit the Federal Trade Commission's ID Theft Website.