Identity Theft Crime Prevention Tips
It is estimated that over 500,000 people will fall victim to
identity theft this year. Criminals use a variety of methods to steal
Social Security Numbers (SSN), driver’s license numbers, credit card
numbers, ATM cards, telephone calling cards, and other pieces of
information like your birth date or address.
There are two types of identity theft. An account takeover occurs when a thief gets your credit account information and purchases
products &/or services by physically using your card at a business,
simply entering the number and expiration number on line, or reading
the numbers over the phone.
Application Fraud is when a criminal uses your SSN
and other information to open new accounts in your name.
You cannot totally prevent identity theft, but you can reduce your
risk of fraud!
not carry extra credit cards, your Social Security card, birth
certificate or passport in your wallet or purse. On campus – store
your wallet in a safe & secure place.
- Reduce the number of credit cards you actively use. Cancel unused
accounts. Don’t fill out credit applications just to get the “free
- Always put your credit card receipts in your wallet rather than in
the shopping bag.
a list or photocopy of all your credit cards, bank accounts, &
investments in a secure place. Make sure you have the phone number
to call to report each stolen card.
- Never give out your SSN, credit card numbers or other personal
information over the phone, by mail, or on the Internet unless you
have a trusted business relationship and you have initiated
- Remove your name from the marketing lists of the four credit
reporting bureaus: Equifax, Experian, Novus/Innovis, and Trans
Union. Call 1-888-5OPTOUT. This will limit the number of pre-approved
credit offers you receive, and remove a potential target for
identity thieves who use them to order credit cards in your name.
- Check your credit report at least once a year. If you become a
victim of identity theft, you can catch it early buy checking your
credit report regularly.
Participate in privacy! Only you can reduce your risk of identity
For more information, visit the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse at http://www.privacyrights.org/index.htm.
Adapted from: Think Federal Credit Union Prime Time Connections
Personal Safety and Responsibility Tips
The cooperation and involvement of students, faculty, and staff in any campus safety program is absolutely necessary. All members of the university community must assume responsibility for their own safety and the security of their property by taking simple, common-sense precautions.
Although the campus is well lighted, community members, male or female, will find safety in numbers and should practice walking with a companion or in groups at night.
The doors of resident rooms and offices should remain locked.
Valuables should be marked with a personal identification number in case of loss or theft.
Bicycles should be properly secured when not in use.
Use S.A.F.E (Student Association for Escorts) for a safety escort anywhere on campus. Call ext 2111.
When walking to the parking lot, have your keys ready and watch for suspicious persons or activities.
Avoid leaving keys in the car ignition and valuables on the seat. Lock all valuables, CB radios, walkmans, laptop computers, cameras, briefcases, book bags, etc., in the trunk.
Automobiles should be locked.
Never leave books or personal items unattended in campus buildings.
Auto Theft Prevention Tips
Over one million vehicles - cars trucks, buses, motorcycles, and
trailers — are stolen every year. More than 1.6 million
vehicles were stolen in 1990 at an estimated national cost of
over eight billion dollars.
Protect Your Vehicle
- Lock your car and pocket the
key when you leave, even if just for a minute. Close windows
all the way and make sure the trunk is locked.
- Control your keys. Never
leave an identification tag on your key ring. If your keys are
lost or stolen , it could help a thief locate your car and
burglarize your home.
- Don't leave your
registration inside your vehicle; carry it with you. Important
identification papers or credit cards should never be left in
the glove compartment.
- If carrying packages or
valuable items, store them in your trunk, if possible. If you
do leave packages, clothing or other articles in the car, make
sure they are out of sight.
- Park in well lit, busy
areas. Avoid leaving your vehicle in unattended parking lots
for long periods of time. If you park in a lot where you must
leave a key, leave the ignition only, to protect items in the
trunk or glove box.
- When buying a car, ask about
anti-theft options such as steering column locks, alarms,
switches that interrupt the fuel or electronic systems, and
locks for tape decks, batteries and gas tanks. Many insurance
companies offer reduced rates to owners who install security
- Keep your car's vehicle
identification number (VIN) and a complete description in a
safe place at home. Since 1969, the federal government has
required manufacturers to engrave a unique number, the VIN, on
all passenger cars in one visible and several hidden
locations. One VIN is engraved on a metal plate on the
dashboard near the windshield. VINs of stolen cars are
registered with the FBI's National Crime Information Center.
Bicycles, Motorcycles and
- Park out of sight in a
garage or basement, or use a cover.
- Engrave with an Operation
Identification number recommended by local law enforcement.
- Lock all bicycles with a
case-hardened chain or cable and lock, winding the cable
through the frame and both wheels and then around a fixed
- Use the fork lock found on
most street motorcycles. For extra protection of your bicycle
or motorcycle, invest in a heavy U-shaped lock made of
extremely hard steel that cannot be hack-sawed or a
case-hardened chain and a sturdy padlock.
- Watch out for key numbers!
Some motorcycle manufacturers stamp the key number on the
lock. With this number, anyone can go to a key maker and have
a key cut that will fit perfectly. Many key makers ask for
identification, but don't take chances, write down your key
number, store the number in a safe place and then file it off
- Many specialized vehicles
don't have VINs and should be marked with another ID number,
such as a drivers license.
- Lock up easy-to-carry items
like motors and camping gear before leaving your vehicle.
- Use secured 'toppers' or
tool boxes for your truck. Don't assume a thief can't lift a
box because it's heavy.
If It Happens to You
your vehicle is broken into or stolen, inform the police
immediately. Stolen vehicles may be used in the commission of
other crimes. Your quick action may both aid in recovering your
vehicle and prevent its use for illegal purposes
Is your home safe? Do you often walk alone? Are you at risk for being robbed or worse?
Take the Rate your Risk test and see how you rate!!