Identity Theft is the fastest growing crime in the United States. Identity Theft related losses rose from $760 million in 1996, to about $1.1 billion in 2000. Identity Theft involves acquiring key pieces of someone''''s identifying information, such as name, address, date of birth and social security number, in order to impersonate them. This enables the identity thief to commit numerous forms of fraud. The Federal Trade Commission reports that one person in four will become a victim of identity theft.
Never give personal information such as your social security number, date of birth, mother’s maiden name, credit card number, or bank PIN code over the telephone unless you initiated the phone call.
Protect this information and release it only when absolutely necessary.
Memorize your social security number and all of your passwords. Do not record them on any cards or on anything in your wallet or purse.
Beware of mail or telephone solicitations disguised as promotions offering instant prizes or awards designed solely to obtain your personal identifying information.
Use caution when disclosing checking account numbers, credit card numbers, or other personal financial data at any Web site or on-line service location unless you receive a secured authentication key from your provider.
CREDIT CARDS AND ACCOUNT STATEMENTS
Report all lost or stolen credit cards immediately.
Empty your wallet of extra credit cards and cancel the ones you do not use.
Order your credit report from the three credit bureaus once a year to check for fraudulent activity.
Never leave receipts at bank machines, bank counters, trash receptacles, or gasoline pumps.
Sign the back of all new credit cards immediately.
Save all credit card receipts and match them against your monthly bills.
Shred pre-approved credit applications, credit card receipts, bills, and other financial information before discarding them.
Be aware of when to expect financial statements. If they do not arrive, contact sender.
Notify your credit card companies and banks when you change your address or phone number.
Never loan your credit cards to anyone.
Never put your credit card or other financial account numbers on a postcard or the outside of an envelope.
If you are expecting a new credit card and it hasn''''t arrived in a timely manner, contact the bank or credit card company involved.
You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report if you have been a victim of identity theft, been denied credit, receive welfare benefits, or are unemployed.
P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, Georgia 30374-0241
• To order your credit report, call (800) 685 -1111
• To report fraud, call (800) 525-6285
Experian (formerly TRW)
P.O. Box 949, Allen, Texas 75013-0949
• To order your credit report, call (888) 397-3742
• To report fraud, call (888) 397-3742
P.O. Box 390, Springfield, Pennsylvania 19064-0390
• To order your credit report, call (800) 916-8800
• To report fraud, call (800) 680-7289
Federal Trade Commission
600 Pennsylvania Ave,
NW, Washington, DC 20580
• To report fraud, call (877) 438-4338
Social Security Administration
• To report fraud, call (800) 269-0271
United States Postal Service
• Report mail theft to the Postal Inspector
Thousand Oaks Police Department
2101 East Olsen Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360
To file a report, call: (805) 494-8200
Make a note of your Thousand Oaks Police Department case number with a detailed history and reference it when you have contact with any business or law enforcement agency concerning this report. Depending upon the location (jurisdiction) of where the crime occurred (goods or services obtained or delivered), a TOPD investigator may or may not be assigned this case. The case may be transferred to another law enforcement agency if the crime occurred in another jurisdiction.
IF YOU ARE A VICTIM OF IDENTITY THEFT
Set up a folder to keep a detailed history of the crime.
Keep a log of all your contacts and make copies of all documents.
Contact all creditors, by phone and in writing to inform them of the problem.
Call each of the three credit bureaus fraud departments to report identity theft. Ask to have a Fraud Alert/Victim Impact statement placed in your credit file asking that creditors call you before opening any new accounts.
Request a copy of your credit report.
Report the crime to your local law enforcement agency within the jurisdiction you reside in. Give them as much documented evidence as possible.
If your Social Security Number is being used, contact the Social Security Administration''''s Fraud Hotline at (800) 269-0271.
Contact the Department of Motor Vehicles to see if another license was issued in your name. If so, request a new license number and fill out the DMV''''s complaint form to begin to fraud investigation process.
If you are wrongfully identified as a criminal, the California Department of Justice has an Identity Theft Registry. Report this to the State Department of Justice at:
(888) 880-0240 (staffed 24 hours a day)
Alert your banks to flag your accounts and contact you to confirm any unusual activity. Request a change of PIN and a new password.
If you have any checks stolen or bank accounts set up fraudulently, report it to the following companies:
National Check Fraud Services-(800) 571-2143
TeleCheck-(800) 710-9898 or (800) 927-0188
Equifax Check Systems-(800) 437-5120
International Check Services-(800) 526-5380
If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact the
Thousand Oaks Police Department’s Crime Prevention Bureau (805) 371-8362