ID Theft updated

Updated February 26, 2019
ID Theft

Identity theft has become an all-to-common occurrence.

According to The Harris Poll, nearly 60 million Americans have been affected by identity theft. That same survey indicates nearly 15 million consumers experienced identity theft in 2017. In 2018 the Roseville Police Department took 451 reports from residents with identity theft related crimes. The methods, tactics, and lengths criminals will go through to steal your identity are unrelenting. If you haven’t been a victim, you likely know someone that has had their identity compromised.

There are several different avenues criminals can use to get your identity information, three of the most common methods are:

  1. Tax ID theft (someone uses your Social Security number to falsely file taxes);
  2. Medical ID theft (someone steals your Medicare ID or health insurance information and sends fake bills to your insurance carrier);
  3. Social ID theft (someone uses your name or photos to create a fake social media account).

Here’s the good news…with some added safety measures, your risk of being compromised can be greatly minimized.

Some simple steps you can take to protect yourself and your identity are:

  • Shred any mail, doctor records, or paperwork with personal information (name, date of birth, account information, etc).
  • Secure your Social Security number; don’t carry your Social Security card in your wallet.
  • Do not openly share your personal information – especially on social media websites or apps; do not give out that information online unless you know it is a secure and trusted website.
  • Place a hold on your mail if you are going to be away from home for several days – stacked up mail can draw attention to potential thieves.
  • Use security features on your mobile phone – contact your cell service carrier if you need assistance.
  • Review your credit card and bank information regularly – you can order free credit reports from the major credit bureaus:
    • Equifax: 888-766-0008
    • Experian: 888-397-3742
    • TransUnion: 800-680-7289

 Many experts believe a large number of ID theft cases are not reported to Police. There are steps you can take if you believe your identity or personal information has been compromised or stolen.

  • Contact the major credit bureaus listed above and place a fraud alert on your credit reports – this prevents any thieves from opening accounts in your name.
  • Contact your bank or credit card companies and dispute any charges you did not make or authorize.
    You may need to cancel or close any accounts that have been tampered with or opened fraudulently.
  • Enter your name into the Identity Theft Database:
  • Contact Roseville Police Department to file a police report online or by calling the non-emergency number: 916-774-5000.
Your identity is personal. Technology has made identity theft easier but you can reduce the risk of your personal information from being stolen or misused.

Take some proactive steps today to protect your identity.