Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America today. It is estimated that 1 out of every 5 people will become a victim of identity theft. Although a person cannot completely control whether or not they will become a victim, there are many ways to minimize your risk. On the many available Internet websites regarding identity theft, you will find ways to minimize your risks in addition to what to do if you become a victim.
Dumpster Diving. They rummage through trash looking for bills or other paper with your personal information on it.
Skimming. They steal credit/debit card numbers by using a special storage device when processing your card.
Phishing. They pretend to be financial institutions or companies and send spam or pop-up messages to get you to reveal your personal information.
Changing Your Address. They divert your billing statements to another location by completing a "change of address" form.
"Old-Fashioned" Stealing. They steal wallets and purses, mail - including bank and credit card statements, pre-approved credit offers, and new checks or tax information. They steal personnel records from their employers, or bribe employees who have access to the records.
If you become a victim of identity theft and you are a resident of the City of Morgan Hill, no matter where the crime occurred, the Morgan Hill Police Department will take a report. You may file an identity theft report with the Morgan Hill Police Department online using our secure server. You may also fill out a complaint form with the Federal Trade Commission through a secure server. Your complaints can help the Federal Trade Commission and participating law enforcement agencies detect patterns of wrong-doing, and may lead to investigations and prosecutions.
The last step is to visit your credit bureau and place a credit freeze on your account.
A non-profit organization has been established to help restore a victim's identity and help prevent future victimization. For more information please contact the victim hotline at 888-771-0767 or via email.
Please visit the websites below to learn more about preventing identity theft.