Thursday Oct 14 2010
Local companies team up to reduce identity theft
By: Michael Nottoli, Rocklin Police Department
It is no secret that identity theft is becoming one of the fastest growing crimes in our community and across the entire country. Identity theft cases often result in large losses of money, are difficult to prosecute, and require an enormous amount of time and energy to rectify. Identity theft involves obtaining another’s “personal identifying information” without their authorization and using it for any unlawful purpose. Personal identifying information includes name, address, telephone number, driver’s license number, social security number, place of employment, employment identification number, mother’s maiden name, debit/savings account numbers and credit card numbers. How does identity theft occur? Criminals have found many ways to commit identify theft. Some of the most common methods include: Removing discarded documents from trash containers Obtaining information from the telephone directory Stealing incoming and outgoing mail Committing residential, vehicle, and commercial burglaries Theft of information by housekeepers and repair people Obtaining credit card numbers from sales receipts Copying down credit card numbers in restaurants Tricking people into giving out information over the phone Obtaining information from the Internet and computer files Obtaining personal data from employment files. Free “Document Shredding Day” on Saturday, Oct. 16 One of the best ways to reduce the risk of becoming an identity theft victim is to shred all documents containing personal information before discarding them. Between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 16, the Rocklin Police Department, Roseville Police Department, Cintas Corporation, and Pacific Records Management are teaming up to allow Rocklin and Roseville residents and business persons to shred their personal documents at no cost. Cintas Corporation and Pacific Records Management are donating their portable shredding trucks to serve the Rocklin and Roseville communities. Representatives from the Rocklin Police Department, Roseville Police Department, Cintas Corporation, and Pacific Records Management will be on hand at the below-listed locations: Rocklin location: City of Rocklin Police Department – main parking lot – 4080 Rocklin Road Roseville location: City of Roseville Oak Street Municipal parking lot – Oak Street and Washington Boulevard They will accept and shred up to three banker’s boxes of paper at no charge. Additional boxes may be shredded for a fee of $5 per box. There is no need to remove paper clips, staples, or file folders. The Rocklin Police Department and Roseville Police Department would like to thank Cintas Corporation and Pacific Records Management for providing community members with this special opportunity to shred their personal documents at no charge. If you have any questions about this event, please contact Michael Nottoli at the Rocklin Police Department at 625-5416, or Rob Baquera at the Roseville Police Department at (916) 774-5057. Other identity theft prevention tips: Here are some additional ways to keep your identity from being stolen: Never leave your purse or wallet unattended in your vehicle. Deposit all outgoing mail into a Federal mailbox or take it directly to the post office. Get a locking mailbox or a secured mail slot for incoming mail. Balance your checking account monthly to verify all transactions. Review your credit card statements carefully each month to make sure there are no unauthorized transactions. Save all credit card receipts and compare them to your statements. Advise your credit card companies to notify you of any unusual activity on your account. Unusual activity might be defined as any transactions amounting to more than $250 per week, or any one transaction more than $500. Make a list of all your credit card numbers, the expiration dates, and the appropriate telephone number to call to report the card lost or stolen. Store the list in a safe place (safe deposit box, home safe, etc.). Limit the number of credit cards you have and carry. If you lose many cards at the same time, it can be devastating to your credit history. Do not write “passwords” or “personal identification numbers” (PINS) on credit cards or in your wallet, and don’t let other people see you entering “PIN” numbers. Do not carry your Social Security card with you. Obtain a complete credit history from at least one of the three major credit bureaus every year. Here are their contact numbers: Equifax: (800) 685-1111; Experian: (888) 397-3742; Trans Union: (800) 888-4213. Sign up and pay for a service that monitors your credit and notifies you of any new or suspicious credit activity. Some of these services will “guarantee” to protect your identity up to a certain dollar amount, and will also help you rectify the situation if something should ever occur. Michael Nottoli is the crime prevention and volunteer coordinator for the Rocklin Police Department.