Crime Prevention

What is Identity Theft? Identity theft occurs when your personal information is used without your knowledge or permission for financial or other gain.

Beware of Traditional TacticsIdentity thieves continue to use simple, time-tested methods to steal your identity.  Avoid the following everyday threats. 

Mail Theft
Use a locking, security mailbox if possible, or consider renting a P.O. box at your local post office.  Put outgoing mail into a postal mailbox.

Dumpster Diving (Trash Theft)
Shred unwanted documents containing personal information and all unsolicited credit card or loan offers. 

Shoulder Surfing
"Shoulder Surfers" observe your actions or eavesdrop to steal personal information.  They look over your shoulder or stand close by and may use a camera phone to record you.  Shield keypads with your hand or body before entering PINs, passwords or card numbers.  Avoid sharing personal information over the phone in public.  If you must, use a low voice and shield your mouth.

Purse or Wallet Snatching
Minimize what you carry in your wallet, especially payment cards.  Never carry your Social Security card unless absolutely necessary.  Don't carry PINS or account passwords with you; memorize them or keep them safely locked up at home.

Common Tricks and Scams: Don't Fall for These"You must pay to win."
"You must decide NOW."
"We need your credit card number."
"You must pay now."
"Do not tell anyone, say you need the money for a family emergency."
"The initial investment will be well worth the risk" or "You'll regret it later if you don't."
"We do not provide written information or references."
"You're stupid if you don't do this."
"The promise or prize is in the mail."

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