Home Contact Us Search
lodi.gov Residents Businesses Government Visitors
Search Lodi.gov:
Police Home
Chief of Police
Citizen Resources
Crime Prevention
Patrol Districts
Operations Division
Support Services
Special Units
Volunteers
Animal Services
Press Releases
Memorial
Recruiting
Strategic Plan
Statistics
 
Lodi Police Department
215 W. Elm Street
Lodi, CA 95240
Phone:(209) 333-6727
Fax: (209)333-6792
Contact the Webmaster
 

Identify theft

Identity theft and identity fraud refer to all types of crime in which someone wrongfully obtains and uses another person's personal data in some way that involves fraud and or deception, typically for economic gain.

The identity thief can use a person's name, address, date of birth, Social Security number, and/or mother's maiden name, to impersonate the victim.  This information enables the thief to commit such frauds as taking over the victim's financial accounts, applying for loans, credit cards, and social security benefits or renting apartments and establishing service with utility and phone companies.

Identity thieves can obtain personal information from your trash, thefts of your purse or wallet, theft from your vehicle, burglary of your home, dishonest bank employees, careless retailers who discard credit card information, internet, and theft from your mailbox.

Identity theft is one of the quickest growing crimes in history.  The government statistics are staggering.  The largest credit bureaus report millions in losses every year according to the FBI's website, "Since fiscal year 2008 through the middle of fiscal year 2013, the number of identity theft-related crimes investigated by the Bureau across all programs have resulted in more than 1,600 convictions, $78.6 billion in restitutions, $4.6 billion in recoveries, and $6.8 billion in fines." (FBI)

In the United States and Canada, people have reported that unauthorized persons have taken funds out of their bank or financial accounts, taken over their identities and causing huge debts and/or committing crimes using the victims' names. Victims' losses may include out-of-pocket financial costs associated with trying to restore his/her reputation in the community and attempting to restore their good credit.

In 1998, Penal Code section 530.5 was enacted, making it illegal for a person to obtain your personal information and attempt to use it to obtain goods, services, credit or medical information.

Preventive measures

  • Promptly remove delivered mail from your mail box.
  • Deposit outgoing mail in a post office collection box rather than leaving out going mail in your mail box for pick up.
  • NEVER give personal information over the phone, such as your social security number, date of birth, mother's maiden name, credit card numbers, or bank PIN numbers unless you initiated the call.
  • Shred all pre-approved credit card applications, credit recipts, bills, and other financial information you do not need.
  • Order a free credit report from the three major credit bureaus once a year to check for fraudulent activity.
  • Never leave ATM receipts at bank machines or gas pumps.  Take your receipts with you; don't throw them in the trash.
  • Memorize your social security number, PIN, and passwords.  Don't write them down anywhere.
  • Sign all credit cards. Write on the front "Ask for picture ID".
  • 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.
  • Use caution when disclosing checking account numbers, credit card numbers, or other personal information at any website or online service location unless you received a secured authentication key from your provider.
  • Notify all credit card companies in advance if you are moving.
  • NEVER loan your credit card to anyone.
  • Report all lost or stolen credit cards immediately.
  • Remove your name from the Direct Marketing Association mailing, telemarketing, and email lists.
  • Consider a non-published number.
  • Immediately report any suspicious activity by a mailbox, blue collection box, or parked and unattended postal mail delivery truck.
  • Order your Social Security Benefits and Earnings Statement yearly.

What to do if you are a victim

  • Register as a victim of Identity Theft with the State of California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General.
  • File a report with the Lodi Police Department.
  • Keep a log of all contacts.  Get names, dates, and times of contacts you have made.
  • Contact the fraud unit of credit bureaus Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union.  Request an alert be put on your record and be sure to obtain the expiration of the alert.  Also request a victim's statement be placed on your account and have your account password protected.
  • Contact all creditors by phone and in writing, where fraudulent use has occurred.  Keep copies of all correspondence.
  • Review all incoming statements carefully.
  • Call your bank if your credit cards were stolen. Cancel the account. You can call the bank even if the card or checks were not stolen. Report all fraudulent activity so they may flag your account.
  • Notify your utility companies.
  • If your social security number has been used, call the Social Security Administration.  Some restrictions apply if you request a new number.
  • Be prepared to back everything up in writing and notarizing documents.
  • Sample courtesy notice

Informational Websites:

Important telephone numbers:

Equifax

888-525-6285

Experian

800-397-3742

Trans Union  

800-860-7289

Social Security - fraud

800-269-0271

Social Security - statement

800-772-1213

Opt-out telemarketing

888-567-8688

IRS

800-908-4490

DMV - fraud

866-658-5758

Federal Trade Commission

877-438-4338

Department of Justice

888-880-0240

Lodi Police Crime Prevention

209-333-6787

Lodi Police Department

209-333-6727

 

 

 

Copyright © 2013, City of Lodi. All Rights Reserved.