What is identity theft?
Identity theft is a criminal offense. It occurs when a person knowingly transfers or uses, without lawful authority, a means of identification of another person with the intent to commit or to aid or abet any unlawful activity that constitutes a violation of federal law or that constitutes a felony under any applicable state or local law.
Identity theft occurs when a person steals key pieces of personal identifying information belonging to another person, which may include their name, address, date of birth, Social Security number and mother's maiden name, to gain access to that person's financial accounts.
Take steps in protecting your future and identity...Safeguard your personal information...Don't let someone ruin your good name.
What to do if You are a Victim of ID theft
- If you DO NOT have any possible suspect information, please File a Mail-In ID Theft/Credit Card Fraud Report and return it to the Olympia Police Department Main Station
- If you DO have possible suspect information, or to report other types of frauds, contact central dispatch (CAPCOM) at 360.704.2740
- For bad checks, come to the OPD Front Desk to initiate a report
- Call local police, or if the crime involved the U.S. Mail, contact your nearest U.S. Postal Inspection Service Office. Close all affected accounts
- Call the fraud units of the three major credit bureaus and request a "fraud alert" be placed on your account
- Order copies of your credit report to check whether any fraudulent accounts were opened without your knowledge or consent
- Contact your local banks and creditors by phone and in writing, and report the crime. Ask if they have a fraud department you can speak with
- Contact your financial institutions and request that they flag your accounts. Instruct them to contact you immediately if there is any unusual activity on your accounts
- File your complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC also has counselors available for assistance
- Record the names and phone numbers of people with whom you discussed your case and retain all original reports and supporting documents
- Keep your case organized
Tips for avoiding ID theft
- Report lost or stolen credit cards immediately
- Memorize your Social Security number, passwords and pin numbers, and don't use your date of birth as your password
- Password protect all accounts
- Shred documents that contain financial, account or personal information before you put them in the trash
- Never leave transaction receipts at ATM machines, financial institutions or at gas pumps
- Don't carry your Social Security card or birth certificate. The less personal information you carry, the less you can lose
- Don't disclose credit card information on websites, unless the web site offers a secure transaction
- Contact your financial institution for information on a personal firewalled account for internet use
- Beware of mail and telephone solicitations, don't provide personal information to anyone unless you're absolutely sure about who you're speak ing with; be suspicious and protective
- Use reasonable care not to reveal information when you're in public using your cell phone or ATM machines (including checkout machines at stores)
- Watch your monthly statements and bills
- Order your credit report annually (it's free!) – 877- 322-8228
- Be sure not to leave purses, cell phones, laptop computers, briefcases or other things that might contain financial or personal identity information in plain sight in your vehicle when you park it
Credit reporting agencies
Federal government agencies