:: Fraud Protection::
This portion of the website is designed for the education and prevention of fraud, forgery and identity
theft related crimes. All of the suggestions in this site are good, sound ideas to make it difficult for
anyone to steal your identity or use your bank account.
Also visit our blog at www.soffast.blogspot.com to keep up on any recent fraud activity in the Southern
Oregon area. You can search the archives for further fraud information. The blog is updated regularly
with pertinent information concerning fraud.
There is always a potential of your personal information getting into the hands of criminals without your
doing. Sometimes a business is burglarized and records containing your personal information may be
stolen, or an employee in a business illegally discloses your information. Although these are possible,
most of the time identity thieves get their information directly from the victim. The following is a list of
things you should do to make it nearly impossible for your information to fall into the wrong hands.
According to the Federal Trade Commission in 2003 Oregon was listed as the 7th highest state
experiencing identity theft. The number of these crimes is rapidly growing in our area.
Identity thieves can do several things to steal your identity. An ID thief may find your bank account
information and create fake checks with a computer using your bank account number, but another
name. They will create fake identification cards throw different states using your name and information
but their photographs. The thief may also apply for credit cards, or credit applications for
goods/services using your name and information.
- Be careful of who you give your personal information to. Unless you initiate the phone call, don't
ever give your personal information to anyone over the phone. Most banks will not e-mail you so
don't reply to e-mails from banks asking about your account number, PIN, etc. Scams involving
e-mails and phone calls are typically referred to as "phishing."
- Don't carry your social security card on you. Leave it at home in a secure location or in a safe
- Don't leave personal information in your vehicle. Cars are easy to break into and retrieve
whatever you leave.
- Don't throw away mail, bank account statements, voided checks, mortgage information, tax
information, credit card receipts or anything that could contain your name, address, phone
number, social security number, etc. Purchase a good home shredder and shred all of these
types of documents. The cost of a shredder is much cheaper than the potential cost of being a
victim of identity theft.
- Make sure your mail is delivered to either a post office box or a locking community mailbox.
Don't accept mail in a rural style mailbox. Don't put outgoing mail in a mailbox either, putting the
red flag up, is literally a "red flag" for identity thieves to know you have something in there.
- Don't use passwords like you social security number, mother's maiden name, city you were
born in, or any other information that is easily obtained. Always use a password that is difficult
to guess and preferably a combination of letters and numbers.
- Keep your wallet or purse close to you at all times.
- If you order new checks don't have them mailed to you if you don't have a locking mailbox.
Instead, pick them up at the bank.
- Make sure you order your credit report occasionally and check it carefully for any problems. You
are entitled to one free credit report per year at www.annualcreditreport.com. If you see any
discrepancies report them immediately.
- Don't put your phone number or driver's license number on your checks.
- Don't throw away credit card receipts. If you eat at a restaurant and use a credit/debit card make
sure the credit slip only shows that last four numbers of your card number. If the entire card
number is displayed, scratch out everything but the last four numbers.
What to do if you
are a Victim of
Call your local police and
file a report
Contact the Federal Trade
Contact the Social
Security Fraud Unit at
Contact the three credit
report agencies and place
a fraud alert on your
name. Many times this
will be done through an
P.O. Box 740241 Order
Report #(800) 685-1111
Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
Experian or The Credit
P.O. Box 949
Allen, TX 75013-0949
Trans Union Corporation
Fraud #(800) 680-7289
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92634
Immediately contact your
bank and any other
institution you have
accounts through and
notify them of what has
happened. Ask them to
put fraud alerts on your
Report the fraudulent use
of your checks by
contacting the following: