MV PD Safety Tips
What is Identity Theft?
Section 530.5 of the California Penal Code, defines Identity Theft as a felony using identifying information of another for the purpose of financial gain, to obtain any services, or for medical records.
Identity theft is one of the most personal crimes that can be committed. It attacks the very essence of who you are financially. Once you have been victimized, the road to repairing your good name and financial standing can be very difficult.
In addition to affecting you financially, this crime, if not corrected or identified in time, can affect you civilly and criminally. Not all identity thieves are in it for the money. Some may steal your identity in an effort to hide their own identity. Some identity thieves may use your identity just because they can.
Whatever the reason, once they have your identity, they control an important part of your life and “They Become You.”
What types of Identity Theft are there?
The most common is the “quick hit”
- For instant financial or material gain. Your credit may be devastated within a month.
The most dangerous is the “take over”
- Someone with serious financial problems or criminal or civil judgments may assume your identity to get a “fresh start.”
The most malicious is the “harasser”
- Someone who will use your identity just because they can. They do it to harass you.
What can you do to avoid being a victim of Identity Theft?
- Remove your telephone number and address from circulation.
- Obtain an alternative address for business correspondence. Make this your “legal address.”
- Protect your social security number.
- Shred identifying trash before disposal.
- Don’t place your outgoing mail in your street or communal mailbox.
What should you do if you have been victimized?
- Notify the Police Department and make a report.
- Obtain a copy of the report and make copies of it.
- Contact the three major credit reporting bureaus; Equifax – (800) 525-6285, Experian – (800) 397-3742, and Trans Union – (800) 680-7289.
- Obtain a copy of your credit report from each of those credit bureaus. You should receive a free copy as a victim of Identity Theft.
- After reviewing the credit reports, send a certified letter to each of the financial agencies where false credit was extended. Advise the credit company and banking institutions that you were a victim of Identity Theft and send a copy of the police report if necessary.
- Send letters to each of the credit reporting bureaus and insist the false credit information be expunged. Send a copy of the police report if necessary.
For other prevention and safety tips go to the Moreno Valley Police Department’s Web site at www.moreno-valley.ca.us. You can also call the Moreno Valley Police Department at (951) 486-6700.