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 | Crime Trends & Prevention
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*Online Safety *Vehicle Burglary/Theft *Gas Siphoning
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*Catalytic Converter Thefts *Identity Theft *Internet/Email Scams
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Identity Theft

In the course of the day you may write a check at the drugstore, charge tickets to a concert, rent a car, call home on your cell phone, or apply for a credit card. Chances are you don't give these routine transactions a second thought. But others may.  Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America, affecting half a million new victims each year.

WAYS TO PREVENT IDENTITY THEFT

  • Do not give out personal information over the phone, through the mail, or over the Internet unless you have initiated the contact or know with whom you're dealing.
  • Shred all documentation, including preapproved credit applications, insurance forms, bank checks and statements you are discarding, and other financial information.
  • Create hard-to-guess passwords with at least eight characters and that include a mix of numbers and both uppercase and lowercase letters.
  • Pay attention to your billing cycles. Follow up with creditors if bills don't arrive on time. A missing credit card bill could mean an identity thief has taken over your credit account and changed your address.
  • Order your credit report at least twice a year from the three major credit bureaus:  Equifax (http://www.equifax.com/), Experian (http://www.experian.com/), and Trans Union (http://www.transunion.com/). The Fair Credit Reporting Act allows you to get one free credit report from each of the major credit bureaus once per year. Visit http://www.annualcreditreport.com/.
  • Invest in a locked mailbox for deliveries of mail. Suspects engaged in this crime usually drive around in neighborhoods and look for mail left at door steps or easily accessible items.

IF YOU'RE A VICTIM OF IDENTITY THEFT YOU SHOULD:

For more information, watch the following video:
CitiCABLE 3 - This Week In Torrance #10.08


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Additional resources

Federal Trade Commission - www.ftc.gov/idtheft

US Dept of Justice - www.usdoj.gov/criminal/fraud/websites/idtheft.html