Identity Theft occurs when someone steals your personal information to commit fraud or theft. According to the FBI, identity theft is the fastest-growing white-collar crime in the nation. Repairing identity theft most times can take months, and in some cases can take years. It is important to always check all resources before giving out any type of personal information. If something seems out of the ordinary, please contact the Bloomfield Police Department as soon as possible.
Five Tips to Avoid Identity Theft
- Strengthen your digital security. In other words, do not use the same passwords and pins for various things. Do not store sensitive information on your computer or cell phone.
- Protect your computer. Do not click on any "Pop-ups" or anything that is unusual.
- Beware of "Phishing Scams". These are defined as emails from various email addresses that you are unfamiliar with. Emails that have to do with winning the lottery or needing to change a password, are signs of phishing scams.
- Do not accidentally give away your identity details via phone, door-to-door sales, or email. If you are unsure of who is asking for information, contact the Police Department immediately.
- Pay attention when making online purchases. Having a separate card for online purchases makes it easier to be tracked and recovered.
Emergency Numbers to Call in the Event of Identity Theft
Social Security Administration's Identity Theft Division at 800-269-0271
Three major credit reporting agencies: Equifax (800-525-6285), Experian (888-397-3742), TransUnion (800-680-7289)
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) acts as the nation's source for information related to identity theft crimes. They can be reached at 1-877-IDTHEFT (TTY:866-653-4261 for the hearing impaired). A complaint may be filed online.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Support Services Sergeant Thomas at 860-242-5501, ext. 5162.