What is Identity Theft?
Identity theft occurs when a person knowingly or intentionally obtains personal identifying information of another person; and uses, or attempts to use, that information with fraudulent intent, including obtaining, or attempting to obtain, credit, goods, services, any other thing of value, or medical information in the name of another person without the consent of that person.
There are many ways an identity thief may gain access to your personal identifying information, including both high and low-tech methods.
- They get information from businesses or institutions by stealing records from their employer, bribing an employee who has access to the records, conning information out of employees, or hacking into the organization’s computers.
- They rummage through your trash, the trash of businesses, or dumps in a practice known as “dumpster-diving.”
- They obtain credit reports by abusing their employer’s authorized access to credit reports or by posing as a landlord, employer or someone else who may have a legitimate need for and a legal right to the information.
- They steal credit and debit card account numbers as your card is processed by using a special information storage device in a practice known as “skimming.”
- They steal wallets and purses containing identification and credit and bank cards.
- They steal mail, including bank and credit card statements, pre-approved credit offers, new checks, or tax information.
- They complete a “change of address form” to divert mail to another location.
- They steal personal information from your home.
- They scam information from you by posing as a legitimate business person or government official.
Identify Theft Reporting
If this has taken place in South Ogden City limits, then the South Ogden Police Department will have jurisdiction over the case. Please contact the police department at 3950 S. Adams Ave. or at 801-622-2800.
If the identity theft has taken place outside of South Ogden City, but has occurred within the state of Utah, please go to the Utah Attorney General’s website to report the theft; this can be reported on line at http://www.idtheft.utah.gov/pn/module-PS-viewpub-tid-3-pid-12.htm.
Preventing Identity Theft
This list summarizes some steps you might take to help protect your credit and protect yourself.
- Carefully review every credit card and bank statement for unauthorized charges.
- Burn or shred, with a cross-cut shredder, any mail or financial papers with your personal information on it. Never recycle them.
- Destroy all receipts, shipping slips and bills that use your credit card number.
- Never leave transaction receipts at ATM machines, on counters at financial institutions, or at gasoline pumps.
- Call 1-888-5OPTOUT or visit OptoutPrescreen and ask to stop credit card companies from sending pre-approved credit card applications to your house. They are ticking identity theft time bombs.
- Ask your credit card firm to cease delivery of "convenience checks." They, too, are ticking time bombs.
- You're entitled to one free credit report from each credit reporting company each year. Get it as soon as possible and review it carefully. Order your free credit reports online at www.annualcreditreport.com
- Order a credit report a month or more before you make a big purchase or apply for credit, to be sure there are no surprises in your history.
- Hassle companies that ask for personal information, such as your phone number at a checkout line. The harder we make it on companies, the less they will be inclined to continue the practice.
- It's impossible to tell what's real and what's fake online. Just delete any e-mail that asks for personal information.
- Just hang up on telemarketers, particularly ones who seem to be fishing for personal information, like your birthday. Also, visit The National Do not Call Registry to keep Telemarketers from calling.
- Reduce unwanted junk mail by removing your name from the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) Member Prospect List. Removing your name may prevent you from receiving new catalogs, coupons, announcements about new businesses in your community, and notices of special offers.
Send a $1.00 check or money order (payable to DMA), include your name, address and telephone number, including area code to:
MAIL PREFERENCE SERVICE
Att: Dept: 27245208
DIRECT MARKETING ASSOCIATION
P.O. BOX 282
CARMEL NY 10512
- Limit the number of credit cards you hold, and thoroughly inspect your financial statements each month. Consumer rights quickly fade over time; the sooner you discover an identity theft incident, the better.
- Watch for your monthly financial statements and bills. If you don't get them when expected, contact the sender.
- Don't carry your social security card with you.
- Never use your social security card for identification.
- Most of the time you can't prevent an ID theft incident from occurring, because two-thirds of the time some company that leaked the data is to blame. So be prepared, and be organized. Save paper bank records for at least one year. You'll need them to prove your account balance in the event of an ID theft incident.
Source: MSNBC research & the Utah Attorney General’s Office