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Internet Crimes

ID Theft Image

The most popular Internet crime is Identity Theft, or ID Theft. You are a victim of ID Theft when someone uses your personal information, without your permission, for his/her own personal gain and/or to commit other criminal activities.

 Preventive Actions:

  • Promptly remove mail from your mailbox after delivery.
  • Deposit outgoing mail in post office collection mailboxes or at your local post office.  Do not leave in unsecured mail receptacles.
  • Never give personal information over the phone, such as your social security number, date of birth, mother’s maiden name, credit card number, or bank PIN code unless you initiated the phone call. Protect the information and release it only when absolutely necessary.
  • Shred pre-approved credit applications, credit card receipts, bills, and other financial information you don’t want before discarding them in the trash or recycling bin.
  • Alert your banks to flag your accounts and contact you to confirm any unusual activity.  Request a change of PIN and a new password.
  • Empty your wallet of extra credit cards and ID’s, or better yet, cancel the ones you do not use and maintain a list of the ones you do.
  • Order your credit report from the three credit bureaus once a year to check for fraudulent activity or other discrepancies.
  • Never leave receipts at bank ATM machines, bank counters, trash receptacles, or unattended gas pumps. Keep track of all your paperwork. When you no longer need it, DESTROY IT!
  • Memorize your social security number and all your passwords.  Do not record them on any cards or anything in your wallet or purse.
  • Sign all new credit cards upon receipt. Also note on signature line, “See ID”.
  • Save all new credit card receipts and match them against your monthly bills.
  • Be conscious of normal receipt of routine financial statements. Contact the sender if you do not receive the statements in the mail.
  • Notify your credit card companies and financial institutions in advance of any change of address or phone number.
  • Never loan your credit cards to anyone else.
  • Never put your credit card or any other financial account number on a postcard or on the outside of an envelope.
  • If you applied for a new credit card and it hasn’t arrived in a timely manner, call the bank or credit card company involved.
  • Report all lost or stolen credit cards immediately.
  • Closely monitor expiration dates of your credit cards. Contact the credit card issuer if replacement cards are not received prior to the expiration dates.
  • Beware of mail or telephone solicitations disguised as promotions offering instant prizes or awards designed solely to obtain your personal information or credit card numbers.

Credit Bureau & Reporting Agencies:

PO Box 74021, Atlanta, Georgia 30374-0241
To order reports, call 1-800-685-1111
To report fraud, call 1-800-525-6285

PO Box 949, Allen, Texas 75013-0949
To order reports, call 1-888-397-3742
To report fraud, call 1-888-397-3742

Trans Union
PO Box 390, Springfield, Pennsylvania 19064-0390
To order reports, call 1-800-916-8800
To report fraud, call 1-800-680-7289

Stolen Checks/Fraudulent Bank Accounts:

If you have any checks stolen or bank accounts  set up fraudulently, report it to the following companies:

National Check Fraud Service:  1-800-571-2143
SCAN:  1-800-262-7771
Telecheck:  1-800-710-9898 or 927-0188
Checkrite:  1-800-766-2748
Crosscheck:  1-707-586-0551
Equifax Check System:  800-437-5120
International Check Services:  800-526-5380

Informational Websites:

Federal Trade Commission

California Department of Consumer Affairs

Privacy Rights Clearing House

U.S. Postal Inspection Service

International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators

U.S. Government Accounting Office


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