Fraud / Identity Theft
Ways to prevent identity theft
- Use a cross cut shredder to dispose of everything with your name and personal information.
- Regularly check your credit report for unauthorized accounts.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Donít allow strangers to see your personal identification numbers (PIN) or overhear your personal information.
- Protect your mail. Remove incoming mail quickly and deposit all outgoing mail at the post office.
- Do not carry your Social Security card, birth certificate, passport, account passwords, or extra credit cards in your purse or wallet.
- When creating PINís or passwords, do not use the last four digits of your social security number, date of birth, middle name, consecutive numbers, or anything else that could be easily discovered.
- Use caution when disclosing checking account numbers, credit card numbers or other personal financial data on-line and over the phone.
- Carefully review your credit card statements, phone bills, and bank statements.
- Beware of e-mail scams
- Utilize passwords and locks on laptops and other computer devices
- Limit the amount of personal information you post on social media websites
Some important steps to take once you become aware you are a victim of identity theft:
- File a police report
Get the case number and officerís name. When contacting any financial institute provide them the case number and officer's name.
- Keep copies of all documents
Maintain copies of all statements and evidence of your identity theft; store them in a safe place.
- Make Notifications
Contact all of your banks and creditors by phone and by mail with a courtesy notice. Advise them you are the victim of identity theft and provide them your case number. Keep a log of all contacts for your records.
- Notify all three credit bureaus
Ask to have a Fraud Alert placed in your credit file asking creditors to call you before opening any new accounts.
- Obtain a credit report
Review for new accounts or inquiries made on your social security number.
Sample Fraud Courtesy Notice
Credit BureausTrans Union
Fraud division: 800-680-7289
Fraud division: 888-397-3742
Fraud division: 800-525-6285
Remember you are entitled to a free copy of your credit report.
Other ResourcesSocial Security Administrationís Fraud Hotline: 800-269-0271
Turlock Police Department
244 N Broadway
Turlock, CA 95380