Mississippians are being warned about thieves who are creating financial havoc by stealing personal information and using it to set up credit cards or loans.
Identity theft is a rapidly growing trend, according to the federal trade commission. It can even happen when you're shopping at a favorite store.
"It's happening a lot of different ways. You know, we used to think of someone stealing your wallet, your purse," said Susan Cosgrove of the Mississippi Extension Service. "But it's happening by people getting things like your social security number, your driver's license number to obtain credit, merchandise."
Mississippi is one of the few states that uses a person's social security number as their driver's license number. Experts suggest asking for a different number.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.