Activities for Teaching About Identity Theft

In today’s day and age where so much of what we need to do requires us to use personal information, it’s critical that we teach students about protecting themselves from identity theft.  In this post I will share some of the resources and activities I use with my students when teaching this topic. What I especially like about what I’m about to share is the project extension menu that allows students to have a choice in the way they choose to complete their final project.  Because of the personal choice option, students can choose according to their ability, their learning style and their knowledge of technology…and personally, I think I get better projects because I’m letting them decide!


  • Begin by showing students a clip from “The Office” where Jim impersonates Dwight. After students view, explain that while imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, what would they do if someone really took over their identity and became them?  Share responses as a class.
  • I also have students take the survey from Take Charge Today titled “My Fraud Risk“. After students count up their answers, we discuss that the more yes answers they have indicates that they have a low risk and are taking steps to ensure their exposure to identity theft.
  • To stress why personal habits are so important, show students this news clip about the rise of identity theft.


  • iPads or Laptops
  • Projector & Screen
  • Art Supplies (if option is selected from the menu)


  • To learn more about this topic, I assign students an article titled “Identity Theft in a Digital Age:  Deter, Detect, Defend” to read and take notes on using the Identity Theft Graphic Organizer found below.
  • Since most students are not familiar with credit reports and what they include, I show them this YouTube clip “What Information is in a Credit Report”.
  • Blog Activity (optional)–Since I use Google Classroom, I set up a new class for my sections as blogs.  Students had to choose two areas that they were high risk in from their initial survey and create a blog post asking for help (set it up so students can respond to each other’s posts).  I then assigned each student the names of two other students in the class.  Each student had to respond to the blog posts of their assigned names and offer suggestions as to how they could improve their risk level to identity theft, using their notes, of course.
  • For their final project, I gave them a menu of options to choose from (see below) that allowed students to choose according to their talents, learning styles and knowledge of technology.  However, each project had to address the following information:
    • What identity theft is…
    • How a person can deter identity theft…
    • How a person can detect identity theft…
    • How a person can defend identity theft…
    • The value of a free credit report…
  • After students complete their projects, I complete the “Identity Theft Evaluation” to be sure the above criteria was addressed. I don’t really have a specific rubric because the projects can vary so much, but I also consider presentation, layout, neatness, spelling and grammar. I typically assign each category a value such as 10 points, making the entire project worth 50 but you can adjust this accordingly.
  • Sometimes I use an exit slip to have students reflect on what they’ve learned and to determine if there are any more questions.  This is a again an optional activity, but I did include it in the attachments below.




Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

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