Distributed on 02/09/04 at the Willows Senior Center User Group Meeting on Identity Theft by Dalia Rodriguez, Sergeant with the Santa Clara County Property Crime Unit

If someone uses your name or personal
identifying information, such as:
Date of birth,
Social Security number,
Employee number,
Credit card number, or
Debit card number
Bank account numbers
To obtain credit, goods, services or
medical information.

Identity theft involves acquiring key pieces of
someone's identifying information, such as
name, date of birth, social security number ,
and mother's maiden name, in order to
impersonate them. This information enables
the identity thief to commit many forms of
fraud which include opening bank accounts,
applying for credit cards, loans, and social
security benefits, establishing services with
utility and phone companies. The thief can
also obtain identification documents such as
a driver's license or passport.

530.5 PC - Identity Theft
(a) Every person who willfully obtains personal
identifying information of another person
without the authorization of that person, and
uses that information for any unlawful
purpose, including obtaining, or attempting to
obtain, credit, goods, services, or medical
information in the name of the other person, is
guilty of a public offense.
(b) "Personal Identifying Information" means
the name, address, telephone number, driver's
license number, social security number, place
of employment, employee identification
number, mother's maiden name, demand
deposit account number (checking account),
savings account number, or credit card number
of an individual person.

What to do if you become a Victim:
Identity Theft cases are complex, time-consuming
investigations, and you will be a major part of it.
To assist police you will need to:
Set up a file to keep a detailed history of the
crime. Include locations and dates if known.
Keep a log of all contacts and make copies of
all documents.

Government Agencies

Contact the Federal Trade Commission to
report the problem. The FTC is the federal
Clearinghouse for complaints by victims of
identity theft. The FTC helps by providing
information to help resolve the financial and
other problems that could result from identity
theft. The hotline number is 1-877-438-4338,
or online at

Notify the US Postal Inspector if your mail has
been tampered with or stolen. Local numbers
are listed under Federal Government in the
telephone book or online at

Contact the DMV to see if another license has
been issued to you. If so, request a new license
number and fill out the DMV's complaint form to
begin the fraud investigation process.

Contact the Social Security Administration's
fraud hotline at 1-800-269-0271 .

Contact all creditors and financial institutions, by
telephone and in writing to advise them of the

Call each of the three major credit bureaus' fraud
units to report the theft. Ask to have a "Fraud
Alert/Victim Impact" statement placed in your
credit file asking that creditors call you before
opening any new accounts.
Request a copy of your credit report(s) be sent to

Credit Bureaus

PO Box 74021, Atlanta, Georgia 30374-0241
Order your report call 1-800-685-1111
To report fraud call 1-800-525-6285

PO Box 949, Allen, Texas 75013-0949
To report fraud or order your report call

Trans Union
PO Box 390, Springfield Pennsylvania 19064-0390
Order your report call 1-800-916-8800
To report Fraud call 1-800-680- 7289

If you have any checks stolen or bank accounts set
up fraudulently report it to the following companies

National Check Fraud Service -
(843) 571-2143
SCAN -1-800-262-7771
TeleCheck -1-800- 710-9898
CheckRite -1-800- 766-2748
CrossCheck- (707) 586-0551
Equifax Check Systems -1-800-437-5120
International Check Services 1-800-526-5380

If your identity was misused in relation to a criminal
matter, such as drunk driving, an arrest, or a traffic
citation, additional steps must be taken to ensure
that you are not held responsible for the actions of
the person or persons using your identity.

Fingerprints and Photograph -Official
photographs and fingerprints will be needed for

Law enforcement agencies where false ID was
used must be contacted and advised so that
their records will reflect the proper identifying

Courts having jurisdiction where false
identification was used need to be advised in
order to amend any related court actions.

State and Federal crime reporting systems will
need to be corrected.

Preventive Actions

Promptly remove mail from your mailbox
after each delivery.

Deposit outgoing mail in post office
collection mailboxes or at the local post

NEVER give personal information, such as
your social security number, date of birth,
credit card number, or bank codes over the
phone unless you initiated the phone call.

Shred preapproved credit applications,
credit card receipts, bills and other
financial information you don't want
before placing them in the trash or recycle

Remove extra credit cards and ID's from
your wallet or purse. Cancel the ones you
don't use and maintain a list of those you

Order your credit report from the three
credit bureaus once a year to check for
fraudulent activities or other errors.

Keep track of all your financial paperwork
and destroy it after it has been checked
against your monthly statements.

Memorize your social security number and
bank passwords. Don't record them on
any card or lists kept in your wallet or purse.

If you applied for a new credit card and it
doesn't arrive in a timely manner, notify the
credit card issuer.

Report all lost or stolen credit cards

Beware of mail or telephone solicitations
disguised as promotions offering instant
prizes or awards. They may be designed
solely to obtain your personal information or
credit card numbers.

Internet and On-line Services

Use caution when providing checking
account numbers, credit card numbers, or
other financial data to any on-line service
unless you have a secured authentication
key from your provider. Information
regarding authentication software can be
found at

Read and understand any security
certificates for sites that you may be using.
Encryption technology has made major
advances in the past few years but caution is
still advised when sending information via the

When you subscribed to an Internet Service
Provider (ISP) you may have been asked to
provide credit card information. When you
enter an interactive web site, beware of con
artists who may ask you to "confirm" your
enrollment service by disclosing passwords
or credit card information used to subscribe.
Don't give them out. ISP's will not ask for
that information. This is also true with Digital
Subscriber Line (DSL) and cable service

If you think that someone is using your ISP
without your permission, contact the provider
as soon as possible. Most servers have a
toll free number to register complaints or an
e-mail address related to on-line security

Identity Theft is a two-part crime.

The first part is when the thief uses your name
and personal information to obtain, or attempt to
obtain goods or services.

The second part takes place when the thief
obtains the goods, services, or cash from the
merchant or business using your good name and
credit. Although you may not have any direct
financial loss, it is in your best interest if the
business, bank, or credit card company also files a
report with the police department where the
purchase took place, or the service provided.

Other Victims

Credit card companies, merchants, banks
and other financial Institutions.

Loss of revenues.

Cost of time and personnel to make
corrections to your account.

The store or service where false identification
was used.

Average loss is $18,000 per case.

Cost of merchandise "purchased" with
fraudulent credit cards, checks or loans

Higher credit charges from credit card

Reporting to Law Enforcement

530.6 PC requires that the law enforcement
agency where you reside, or resided, at the
time of the incident, shall take a report if you
are the victim of identity theft.

If the crime occurred in our jurisdiction and
there are workable leads, such as witnesses
and suspect information, an investigation will
be conducted.

Notification of other jurisdictions directly
involved in the case is the responsibility of the
Victim, however the Sheriff's Office will assist
in any way possible.
Filing a police report is not a guarantee
that the thief won't continue to use your
identification. You will need to make the
notifications listed elsewhere in this pamphlet
in order to limit the use of your personal

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