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Identity Theft

Identity theft is becoming one of the fastest growing crimes. Last year, the Federal Trade Commission received over 12,157,400 complaints of identity theft. Despite your best efforts to manage your personal information, skilled identity thieves may still gain access to your personal data. Fort Collins police provides tips to protect your identity and information on what to do if you become a victim of identity theft.

Protecting Your Identity

While identity theft can happen to anyone, there are some things you can do to reduce your risk. Here are five ways to make protecting your identity part of your everyday routine:

  • Never give your credit card number or other personal information on the phone, through the mail, or over the Internet unless you have initiated the contact or you are sure you know who you are dealing with. Personal information includes: social security number, driver license number, account number(s), date of birth, place of birth, home address, mother's maiden name or passwords.
  • Do not carry extra credit cards, your social security card, birth certificate or passport in your wallet or purse, except when needed.
  • Read your credit card and bank statements carefully and often.
  • Know your payment due dates. If a bill doesn't show up when you expect it, look into it.
  • Read the statements from your health insurance plan. Make sure the claims paid match the care you got.
  • Shred any documents with personal and financial information.
  • Review each of your three credit reports at least once a year. Visit annualcreditreport.com to get your free reports.

What to do if you have become a victim of Identity Theft

  • Visit http://www.identitytheft.gov to begin the immediate repair of the damage caused by identity theft and complete the following:
    • Call the companies where the fraud occurred
      • Call the fraud department of the company
      • Close or freeze the compromised accounts
      • Change logins, passwords and PINS for the compromised accounts
  • Place a fraud alert on your credit report and get a copy of your credit report
  • Report the identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
    • Complete the FTC’s online complaint form at http://www.identitytheft.gov  or contact them directly at 1-877-438-4338
    • Print and save the FTC Identity Theft Affidavit
  • File a report with the jurisdiction where you reside
    • You will need to provide the following prior to being issued a case number by Fort Collins Police Services
      • Copy of FTC Identity Theft Affidavit
      • Government issued ID with a photo
      • Proof of address
      • Proof of theft