Extent Of Identity Theft
The extent of identity theft is hard to quantify as most victims do not know they are victims until their personal information has already been used, if at all. With increasing levels of fraud, financial institutions have become more experienced in identifying fraud, and can terminate fraudulent transactions often before the victim realises they are a victim.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics the scale and impact of personal fraud is hard to measure, due to issues of definition, awareness of victimisation, low reporting rates and inconsistent data recording practices among agencies that detect or deal with these incidents.
The ABS conducted a national survey from July 2014 to June 2015 about Personal Fraud which covered Identity Theft.
- In that 12 month period, an estimated 126,300 persons in Australia were victims of identity theft .
- The majority of persons who experienced identity theft experienced a single incident only
The credit agency VEDA conducted a similar survey in 2015 claiming that 17% of Australians were the victim of identity theft however the validity of this result is questioned due to a commercial interest by the company.
Identity Theft Victim Checklist
This checklist can help identity theft victims clear up their records. It lists the actions most identity theft victims should take to limit the damage done by the thief. For more information, see the Web sites of the Federal Trade Commission at , the Identity Theft Resource Center at www.idtheftcenter.org, and the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse at www.privacyrights.org
Reports You Can Submit Online
- Theft from vehicle no limit on value of property
- Theft of property no limit on value of property
- Theft of credit or debit card – regardless of fraudulent use.
- Mischief to vehicle such as vandalism, unless there is evidence of a collision such as paint transfer
- Mischief to property such as vandalism
- Lost property with the exception of government-issued ID such as passports. Please call your local district office to report lost government issued documents.
- Attempted stolen vehicle regardless of damage value
- Break & enter an unlocked premise Entry gained by unknown persons to detached garages, secure parkades, vehicle parkades, porches, sheds, storage lockers and laundry rooms. If entry occurs by forced or kicked indoor, or lock cut then report should be reported to 403-266-1234.
- Theft from a parkade or vehicle parked in a parkade only if no forced entry, otherwise call 403-266-1234.
- Theft of mail including deliveries from postal services such as UPS.
Filing a false police report is a crime.
Note: Please turn off your pop-up blocking software before filing the report.
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Immediate Steps To Take
- File a report with the police/sheriff in the jurisdiction in which you live and get a copy of the report for the credit reporting agencies, banks and credit card companies. You can file the report at the police station or file online.
- In Denver, you can file at www.denvergov.org/policereport.
- You can also complete the ID Theft Affidavit provided by the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov.
- Consider placing a Security Freeze or Fraud Alert on/in your credit reports. See below.
Is Identity Theft A Crime
Identity Theft is a Crime in the State of New Jersey. In New Jersey, Identity Theft is covered by the WrongfulImpersonation statute , which makes it anoffense to impersonate another, assume a false identity, orobtain personally identifying information pertaining to anotherperson and use that information or assist another in using thatinformation to obtain a benefit, services or attempt to avoid adebt or avoid prosecution for a crime by using the name of theother person. New Jerseys Wrongful Impersonation rangesfrom a Disorderly Persons offense to a crime of the 2nd degreein cases where five or more identities have been used to obtaina benefit or service in the amount of $75,000 or more or theidentities if five or more people have been used to obtain abenefit.
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Request Information On Fraudulent Accounts
When you file your police report of identity theft, the officer may give you forms to use to request account information from credit grantors, utilities or cell phone service companies. If the officer does not do this, you can use the form in our Consumer Information Sheet 3A: Requesting Information on Fraudulent Accounts. When you write to creditors where the thief opened or applied for accounts, send copies of the forms, along with copies of the police report. Give the information you receive from creditors to the officer investigating your case.
If Your Mail Was Stolen Or Your Address Changed By An Identity Thief
Notify the Postal Inspector if you think an identity thief has stolen your mail or filed a change of address request in your name. To find the nearest Postal Inspector, look in the white pages of the telephone book for the Post Office listing under United States Government. Or go to the Postal Inspection Services Web site at www.usps.gov/websites/depart/inspect.
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When To Report Identity Theft To Police
The FTC says its important to report identity theft to the police in these three cases:
In most other cases, you can report identity theft to IdentityTheft.gov. The FTC set up the website as a one-stop shop for reporting many types of identity theft. It also helps you to set up a recovery plan.
If You Are Contacted By A Debt Collector
Tell the debt collector that you are the victim of identity theft. Say that you dispute the validity of the debt. Say that you did not create the debt and are not responsible for it. Send the collector a follow-up letter saying the same things. Include a copy of your police report and of any documents youve received from the creditor. Write in your letter that you are giving notice to a claimant under California Civil Code section 1798.93, subsection that a situation of identity theft exists. Send the letter by certified mail, return receipt requested. If the debt collector is not the original creditor, be sure to send your letter within 30 days of receiving the collectors first written demand for payment.
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Online Crime Reporting System
The Online Crime Reporting System is designed to make it easier and more convenient to file a police report without leaving home however, not every crime can be reported using this system.
In the event of an emergency, if a crime is in progress or someone is hurt or threatened, 911 should be called or texted immediately.
The following incidents can be reported on the Online Crime Reporting System:
|Property Damage- Accidental|
Users who can answer “yes” to any of the questions below may call 216.621.1234 to file a report or visit the FAQ’s for more information.
- Did the crime or incident occur outside Cleveland City limits?
- Was someone injured as a result of this crime or incident?
- Is there information about the person, even if vague, who might have committed the crime ?
- Is the license plate number known for the vehicle the suspect was or may be in?
- Did the crime involve the use or threat of a weapon ?
- Did the crime involve drugs in any way?
- Are there serial numbers for stolen items?
- Was there house or garage break-in?
- Was this a motor vehicle accident?
Filing a false police report is a crime. Users must be 18 or older to use the Online Crime Reporting System. Prior to beginning the online filing, user should have a valid email address, pop-up blocking software should be turned off, and all the information related to the incident should be available.
Reports can be filed here
If You Are Wrongly Accused Of A Crime Committed By An Identity Thief
“Criminal identity theft” is a label given to a particular type of identity theft. Criminal identity theft occurs when a suspect in a criminal investigation identifies himself or herself using the identity of another, innocent person. A special database in the California Department of Justice can help victims of this kind of identity theft. See our Consumer Information Sheet 8: How to Use the California Identity Theft Registry- A Guide for Victims of “Criminal” Identity Theft.
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If Your Driver’s License Or Dmv
Immediately contact your local DMV office to report the theft. Ask them to put a fraud alert on your license. Then call the toll-free DMV Fraud Hotline at 1-866-658-5758. If the thief is using your license as ID, you may want to change your license number. Ask DMV for an appointment. Take a copy of the police report and copies of bills or other items supporting your claim of fraud. You will also need to prove your identity. Take current documents such as a passport, a certification of citizenship or naturalization, or a U.S. military photo ID. DMV will issue a new license or ID card number when you meet all the requirements.
What To Do If You Are A Victim
Identity theft is a serious crime that can significantly and negatively affect your ability to obtain credit, get a job, or obtain medical care, just to name a few. Recovering from tax identity theft is not easy, but it can be done through a combination of quick action and careful follow-up. The Internal Revenue Service and Federal Trade Commission recommend the following step-by-step process for addressing tax identity fraud.
- a copy of the FTC Identity Theft Affidavit
- any other proof of the theft
- a government-issued photo ID
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Review Your Credit Reports Carefully
When you receive your credit reports, read them carefully. Look for accounts you dont recognize. Look in the inquiries section for names of creditors from whom you havent requested credit. You may find some inquiries identified as promotional. These occur when a company has gotten your name and address from a credit bureau to send you an offer of credit. Promotional inquiries are not signs of fraud. Also, as a general precaution, look in the personal information section to verify your Social Security number, address and name.
If you find anything you dont understand, call the credit bureau at the telephone number listed on the report. Tell them you want to block, or remove, any information on the report that is the result of identity theft. For more on what to tell the credit bureaus, see the Privacy Rights Clearinghouses Identity Theft: What to Do When It Happens to Youwww.privacyrights.org/fs/fs17a.htm
When Should I Call Police Instead
- If you have a known suspect. If you know the name or address of the suspect, or if you know the license plate of the vehicle associated to the suspect, please contact Peel Regional Police at 905-453-3311
- If the value of theft, loss or property damage is more than $10,000.00
- If your vehicle has been stolen
- If the incident occurred outside of Brampton or Mississauga. Please contact the police service responsible for the area in which the incident occurred
- If someone broke into, or attempted to break into your home, garage or business
- If this is the theft or loss of a firearm
- If this is related to any form of personal violence, including domestic violence.
- If this is related to any kind of vandalism or graffiti that could be hate motivated
- If this is related to a traffic complaint that is in progress
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Financial Crimes / Identity Theft
Definition: The unauthorized use of a check, credit card, social security number and or identification when the suspect is unknown. Example: unauthorized purchases made on your credit card, someone other than yourself using your identity internet scams and bank fraud. When the suspect is known by the victim , contact this Department by calling 744-4241.
To report Financial Crimes / Identity Theft, fill out the form below. Print and deliver the report to the following address. You will sign the form at the Department in the presence of a police employee.
Pasadena Police Department
If Someone Uses Your Social Security Number To Claim Unemployment Benefits Or To Work
If you suspect that someone else has claimed unemployment benefits using your Social Security number, call the California Employment Development Departments toll-free Fraud Hotline at 1-800-229-6297. For more information, see their Web site at www.edd.ca.gov. Search on the site for “fraud.” Sometimes, an identity thief will use someone elses Social Security number to be eligible to work. Its a good idea to check your Social Security earnings record to see if income earned by a thief is being posted to your account. You can get a copy of your earnings record by calling 1-800-772-1213. Or get a Request for Social Security Statement at www.ssa.gov/online/ssa-7004.html. If you believe a thief is using your Social Security number to work or claim Social Security benefits, call the Social Security Fraud Hotline at 1-800-269-0271. Or report Social Security benefits fraud online at www.ssa.gov/oig/hotline/index.htm..
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Report The Fraud To The Three Major Credit Bureaus
You can report the identity theft to all three of the major credit bureaus by calling any one of the toll-free fraud numbers below. You will reach an automated telephone system and you will not be able to speak to anyone at this time. The system will ask you to enter your Social Security number and other information to identify yourself. The automated system allows you to flag your file with a fraud alert at all three bureaus. This helps stop a thief from opening new accounts in your name. The alert stays on for 90 days. Each of the credit bureaus will send you a letter confirming your fraud alert and giving instructions on how to get a copy of your credit report. As a victim of identity theft, you will not be charged for these reports. Each report you receive will contain a telephone number you can call to speak to someone in the credit bureaus fraud department.
How Can You Minimize Your Risk
- Protect your SIN. Dont use it as a piece of ID and never reveal it to anyone unless you are certain the person asking for it is legally entitled to that information. When an organization requests your SIN, ask if it is legally required to collect it, and if not, offer other forms of ID.
- Pay attention to your billing cycle and ask about any missing account statements or suspicious transactions.
- Immediately report lost or stolen credit or debit cards.
- Carry only the ID you need.
- Do not write down any passwords or carry them with you.
- Protect your computer and its information by installing Internet security software products.
- Be extremely careful when you provide personal information via email or over the Internet. Take extra care when providing information on social networking sites such as Facebook.
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You Cannot File A Report Online If
- A threat was made or violence was used during the incident. If you are in immediate danger, please dial 911. If you are no longer in danger, please call us at 613-236-1222, extension 7300.
- Evidence was left on the scene such as, but not limited to blood, tools, clothes or any item related to the incident. Please call 613-236-1222, extension 7300 to file a report.
- The incident being reported did not happen in Ottawa. Please contact the police service in the city where the incident happened to file a report.
- The stolen property is a passport
- The property lost is a cell phone, licence plate, bank card or government issued identification, with or without a serial number. Please contact your service provider to get a replacement.