These Identity Theft Games Can Help You Stay Sharp

While they may seem a tad silly, the government offers a few online identity theft games to help you fight the scourge -- and they're great for kids

The concept of identity theft games may seem a bit odd at first glance, but when you get right down to it, they're nothing to laugh at. Not only can they help adults stay sharp when it comes to ID theft facts, they're a good teaching tool for young people, especially those just starting out in the workforce.

The federal government maintains a variety of online ID theft resources at OnGuardOnline.gov, including a couple of nifty games.

ID Theft Face Off

In this clever game, evil identity thieves steal your character's face. As you proceed through the game's questions, working toward identity recovery, you get to recover your facial features. Now, there's some serious incentive!

If that happened in real life, you could be sure that people would jump right in and fix identity theft right away, instead of letting it slide or misinterpreting what it means, as so many people do.

Saving Face

Fortunately, you only have to get six of eight possible answers right to get your face back. The game's not rocket science, but it's a good reminder of what you should do and how you should react if you experience identity theft. And it's a good, simple introduction to the subject for your kids.

If you're not so good at the game, well... three strikes and you're out, and you get to remain partly or fully faceless forever, while the crooks laugh as they use your identity with impunity.

The Case of the Cyber Criminal

This game focuses on the growing problem of online info-theft. You face a dastardly group of computer hackers, and have to answer specific questions to block their actions and thus protect your identity.

This one's a bit harder than the Face Off game, and you have to answer all of the questions right to stop each of seven hackers in his or her tracks. When you get an answer right, you get to remove a cool piece of spy gear from a briefcase: a covert camera, surveillance specs, spy tie, etc.

Once you've emptied the briefcase, you're home free. Miss even one question, though, and you've left the losers with a tool they can use to keep coming at you. No worries, though: the answers tend to be logical, and if you miss one, you'll get a nice explanation to help you out next time you play.

Serious Fun

Both games are simple, but they serve a serious purpose. While adults may not find either game difficult, they can certainly remind you how to protect your identity online, and how to recover it once it's compromised. More importantly, these identity theft games are great for teaching kids about the subject.

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