Protect Your Identity
Don’t fall victim to identity theft

Identity theft occurs when perpetrators obtain personally identifiable information about the victim and use the information for personal or financial gain.

Some common ways that criminals gain access to this information are “shoulder surfing” in public locations, acquiring pre-approved credit card applications in the mail for the victim, using phishing e-mails, or through “dark” websites which sell victims information. This information is then used to open fraudulent accounts using the victim’s identity.

In 2017 the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reported they received 2.7 million identity theft and fraud reports, costing consumers almost $905 million with a median loss of $429. The top two categories of fraud reported were credit card fraud and employment or tax related fraud.



  • Never give out your username and/or password. Credible institutions and organizations will not request personal information via email or text.
  • Don’t respond to robo-calls asking for sensitive information.
  • Delete phishing emails.
  • Do not reply or click on the link in any message you suspect may be fraudulent.
  • If an e-mail appears to be from an internal UCSF user but seems suspicious, generate a new e-mail to the sender using the e-mail address from UCSF’s internal directory and confirm whether they sent you the previous email.


  • Monitor account activities online for unauthorized charges.
  • Enroll in credit monitoring.
  • Shred pre-approved credit card offers before throwing them away.


  • If you have received a phishing e-mail and mistakenly clicked on a link, contact the IT Service Desk immediately to report that your account has been compromised and change your password. UCSF IT Service Desk can be contacted at 415-514-4100.
  • If you suspect identity fraud:
    • Contact the company with the problem account and let them know you are disputing the charges due to fraud, ask them to freeze the account
    • Check your other accounts and credit reports for other suspicious activity and/or accounts
    • File a report with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
    • Contact your local police department and file a report