Crime Prevention Information
Identity Theft has become the fastest growing crime in the United States and according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Indiana's most prevelant form of I.D. Theft is "Utilities Fraud". This indicates that after the thief obtains YOUR information, that he/she will most likely use it to open up an account with the gas company, telephone company, electric company, etc.
The Fort Wayne Police Department would like to offer some tips for preventing Identity Theft.
1. Buy and use a cross-cut shredder. Shred EVERYTHING! Thieves can find a lot of "pieces to the puzzle" in your discarded trash.
2. Avoid leaving your mail in the mailbox overnight. Retrieve it as soon as possible.
3. Avoid giving out your personal information including account numbers over the telephone and internet unless you are the one who initiated contact. A common form of this is when the thief finds out your banks name and contacts you protraying to be them. Conduct account updating or other personal information recordkeeping in person whenever possible. This form of I.D. Theft is call "Phishing".
4. Opt out of pre-approved credit cards by calling 1-800-680-7293
5. Request companies to stop selling your personal information. This can be done by writing to EACH of the three major credit reporting agencies (Transunion, Experian, & Equifax).
6. Keep only the necessary credit cards and other personal information needed in your purse/ wallet. Report lost or stolen cards as soon as possible. Write down the telephone number and name of each card you own (NO account numbers please) and keep these in several locations such as the glovebox, the desk at home, your office desk, etc.
7. Request a copy of your credit report(s) as often as allowed.
8. File a police report. Most banks, affidavits, etc. require a police report number (control number) to help regain your identity and limit your exposure.
Please visit the Federal Trade Commission for more great ideas on Identity Theft prevention and tips for what you should do if you're a victim. Their website is www.FTC.gov
The Fort Wayne Police Department-Crime Prevention office is proud to serve Fort Wayne and partner with our community to make us all safer.