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Columbia Police Department: Identity Theft

IDENTITY THEFT


This page will explain to you what Identity Theft is, and will help you determine if you should use our online reporting system to file a report.

What is Identity Theft?

Identity Theft is when an individual uses another person's identifying information to obtain credit, goods, or services under false pretenses.

Examples of Identity Theft

  • A person obtains a credit card using your name.

  • A person obtains utilities, in your name for a location, you do not live at or own.


If you feel your incident fits in the Identity Theft category, please use the follow tips when completing your report:

When filling out the incident report, there will be a number of information fields and options. Only fields marked with a * are required; however, the other fields may help us if we need to contact you.

What to write in the Incident Description section

When completing the incident description section, remember that the keys to a good description are accuracy and brevity. Include what happened, where it happened, when it happened, how it happened, and who did it (if applicable). Do not include opinions or information that is not related to the incident. Below is an example of how an incident description should be written for a identity theft report:

"On July 18, 2012 I was contacted by Bank of America in reference to a credit card that had been opened in my name. The card had been used to make a purchase on Amazon.com in the amount of $647.89 on July 2, 2012 and another purchase to Amazon.com on July 3, 2012 in the amount of $1247.16. I have not opened a credit card account with Bank of America."


There are some groups you should get in touch with if you are the victim of identity theft or fraud, some will ask for the report number you get at the end of this online police report process.

Agency

Web URL

Contact Number

Equifax

http://www.equifax.com/

1-800-525-6285

Experian

http://www.experian.com/

1-888-397-3742

Trans Union

http://www.transunion.com/

1-800-680-7289

U.S. Federal Trade Commission

http://www.ftc.gov/

1-877-438-4338

SC Department of Motor Vehicles Fraud Hotline

1-803-896-9688

Helpful Tips:

  • Protect your social security number and only give it out when required by law.

  • No bank, auction site or other business should send you an email asking you to enter credit card information, passwords, social security numbers or other personal information. Often these fake emails will contain links to pages that look real but are not. If you suspect you are being directed to a fake site please go to the actual home web site of the company and inform them of what has happened.

  • Avoid mail theft by obtaining a locked mailbox and dropping off outgoing mail at the local post office or postal mailbox.

  • Do not give out your personal information or credit card number over the phone unless you initiated the call.

  • Shred credit card offers and bank statements before you throw them away if you do not plan on using them.


 
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