CRIME TIPS - PROTECTING YOURSELF FROM IDENTITY THEFT AND FRAUD
How it can happen:
- Stolen mail.
- Search through trash.
- Phony postal change of address form
- Stolen wallets and purses
- Misrepresentation to secure a credit report of credit cards.
- Obtain or purchase personal information from the internet.
- Counterfeit identification.
- Illegal access into computers.
Things to do to avoid being a victim:
- Do not carry documents like Social Security card, passport or birth certificate except when necessary.
- Limit the number of credit cards or checks you carry.
- Shred all credit card receipts, solicitations, canceled checks and financial documents.
- Do not give document numbers or any other information over the phone unless you know the caller is legitimate.
- Do not include your Social Security number on checks.
- Call your credit card company if your card is expired and you did not receive a new one.
- Do not send sensitive information unless it is encrypted on a secure web site.
- Never write down PINs and passwords; memorize them.
- Review account statements carefully and report any suspicious activity.
- Make sure your computer has current anti-virus software.
If you suspect that you are a victim:
- Contact your Police Department and file a report.
- Notify your bank and credit card companies.
- File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
- Place a fraud alert on your credit file.
To file a complaint with the FTC:
- Online at www.consumer.gov/idtheft.
- Toll-free: 1-877-IDTHEFT (438-4338).
To place a fraud alert on your credit file contact: