"Identity Theft is the fastest growing crime in America. Learn how to protect yourself."
The Middletown Police Department understands that being the victim of identity theft can be an upsetting experience and will strive to help the victim reclaim their good name.
The Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act of 1998 (ITAD Act) made it a federal crime when anyone knowingly "transfers or uses without legal authority the identification documentation of another person with the intent to commit, aid or abet any unlawful activity that constitutes a felony."
The Middletown Police Department will document any incident of identity theft from a complaint. Once the complaint report is taken, the victim will be provided with the Federal Trade Commission's victim guide book called, "ID Theft: When Bad Things Happen To Your Good Name." The victim will need to:
- File a report with the Federal Trade Commission.
- Contact the three credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and Trans Union), to place a fraud alert on their credit report.
- Contact Financial institutions, such as banks, credit card companies and any other company the victim of the identity theft uses to check for unusual activity on those accounts.
- Contact the Social Security Administration Inspector General Fraud Hotline, 1-800-2169-0271, if there is a concern that the victim's social security number may have been compromised.
- Keep a log or diary f everything he or she does or information regarding the identity theft. (A sample log is in the FTC booklet.)
- Keep a folder with records of all correspondence regarding the theft
- Fill out te FC ID Theft Affidavit included in the FTC handbook.
Learn more about your Privacy Act rights and the FTC's Privacy Protection Act procedures by contacting the FTC's Freedom of Information Act Office: 202-326-2430
Important Identity Theft Prevention Tips
- Properly dispose any paperwork which contains personal information on it so it does not fall into the wrong hands. The information should either be shredded or burned.("Dumpster Diving" is a term that describes individuals who search dumpsters and other garbage containers for paperwork, which contains personal information.)
- Look out for people Shoulder Surfing. ("Shoulder Surfing" involves the use of binoculars by a suspect to see and record passwords and other personal information. This canbe done by someone standing in line at a grocery store or other financial institution such as ATM Automatic Teller Machines.)
- Citizens should be vigilant in their neighborhoods for people stealing mail from boxes.