WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT IDENTITY THEFT
- Is a Class D Felony in Connecticut a Violation of Section 53a-129a. of the CT General Statues
- Is one of the fastest growing and most serious economic crimes in the United States.
- Occurs when someone obtains the personal information of another without authorization and uses that information for any unlawful purpose.
- Allows criminals to obtain money, goods and services, and to obtain fake drivers licenses, birth certificates, passports and other legal documents.
What you should do if you are a Victim of Identity Theft
File a report with the police or the police in the community where the identity theft took place, or your local police department.
Contact the fraud departments of the three major credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian, Trans Union and ask them to put a fraud alert on the account and add a victim's statement requesting creditors to contact the victim before opening new accounts in his or her name.
Cancel each credit and debit card and request new cards with new account numbers. ATM PIN Numbers should be changed.
If bank accounts are involved, report the loss to each financial institution, cancel existing accounts and open new ones with new account numbers. If deemed necessary, place stop payments on outstanding checks and contact creditors to explain.
If a drivers's license is involved, contact the state motor vehicle department. If the driver's license uses the social security number, request a new driver's license number. In such cases, also check with the Social Security Administration to determine the accuracy and integrity of your account.
Contact the Federal Trade Commission which acts as the nation's clearinghouse for information related to identity theft crimes. The FTC can lend victim's assistance from trained counselors in resolving credit related problems.
Websites and phone number for consumers concerned about identity theft:
- Credit Reporting Agencies:
- Social Security Administration
- U.S. Postal Service
- F.T.C. Hotline 1-877 IDTHEFT
To report identity theft and get help on how to restore your credit, contact:
Federal Trade Commission Consumer Response Center
600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW,
To Prevent Identity Theft
Do not give out personal information over the phone, through the mail, or even the internet unless you have initiated the contact or know whom you're dealing with. Identity thieves will pose as bank representative, Internet service providers, and even government officials to get you to reveal identifying information.
Shred all documents, including pre-approved credit applications received in your name, insurance foons, bank checks and statements you are discarding and other financial information.
Do not put your social security number on your checks or your credit receipts. If a business requests your socials security number, give them an alternate number an explain why. If a government agency requests your social security number, there must be a privacy notice accompanying the request.
Do not write your telephone number on checks.
Be careful using ATMs and phone cards.
Someone may look over your shoulder and get your PIN numbers, thereby gaining access to your accounts.
Make a list of all your credit card account numbers and bank account numbers with customer service phone numbers and keep it in a safe place.
When you order new credit cards in the mail or previous ones have expired, watch the calendar to make sure you get the card within the appropriate time. If the card is not received within that time, call the credit card grantor immediately to find out if the card has been sent. If you don't receive the card, check to make sure a change of address was not filed.
Do not put your credit card number on the Internet unless it is encrypted on a secured site.
Pay attention to your billing cycles. Follow up with creditors if bills don't arrive on time. A missing credit card bill could mean an identity thief has taken over your credit card account and changed your billing address.
Cancel all credit cards that you have not used in the last six months. Open credit is a prime target.
Order your credit report at least twice a year.
Reports should be obtained from all three major sources: Equifax, Experian or TransUnion.
Correct all mistakes on you credit report in writing. Send the letters return receipt requested. Identify the problems item by item and send with a copy of the credit report back to the credit reporting agency. You should hear from the agency with 30 days.
Newtown Police Department
3 Main Street
Newtown, CT 006470