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Houlton Police Department
97 Military Street
Houlton, ME 04730



Identity Theft

Identity theft is stealing someone’s personal information and using it to commit fraud or theft.  Identity theft is a serious crime.  Victims can have their identities stolen for months or years and not even know it.  Identity thieves get personal information in many ways.  They may: 

Practice “dumpster diving,” to get information from trash found at homes or workplaces.

Steal wallets or purses for IDs, credit cards, and other information (or they can enter your home to steal personal data.) 

Steal mail, such as bank statements, bills, credit card offers and tax information.

Pose as a rental agent or employer to get credit reports.

Go online to steal information you may share on the internet.

Pay an “inside at a store or at work who has access to personal information

How to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

Do not carry extra credit cards, your Social Security card, passport or birth certificate except when absolutely necessary.

Install a locked mailbox at your residence or use a post office box to reduce the chance of mail theft.

Pick up new checks at your bank.

Do not leave paid bills in your mailbox for the postal carrier to pick up.

Ask your financial institutions to add extra security protection to your account.  Most will allow you to use an additional code when accessing your account.

Protect your Social Security Number (SSN) at all costs.  Do not let merchants write your SSN on your checks.  Request merchants to use other forms of identification.

Never allow credit card numbers to be written on your checks.

Do not use your birth date or mother’s maiden name as PIN numbers or passwords.

Remove your name from the marketing lists of the three credit reporting bureaus – Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union.  This will reduce the number of pre-approved credit offers you receive in the mail.

Shred all paperwork with financial and personal information on it before throwing it in the garbage.


What To Do If You Are a Victim of Identity Theft

Immediately call the fraud units of the three credit reporting companies.  Ask that your file be flagged with a fraud alert.

Contact all creditors immediately with whom your name has been used fraudulently by phone and in writing.  The Federal Trade Commission provides a uniform affidavit form that most creditors accept.

Report the crime to your local police or sheriff’s office.

Notify the local Postal Inspector if you suspect an identity thief has filed a change of your address with the post office or has used the mail to commit fraud.

Contact the Social Security Administration to report fraudulent use of your Social Security Number.

Contact the passport office to alert them to anyone ordering a passport fraudulently in your name whether you have a passport or not. 

Call the Department of Motor Vehicles to see if another license has been issued in your name


Resources

Equifax:
For credit reports call:
1-800-685-1111
To report fraud call:
1-800-525-6285          
1-800-255-0056 (TDD)
Experian:
For credit reports call:   
1-888-397-3742
To report fraud call:
1-888-397-3742
1-800-972-0322 (TDD)
TransUnion
For credit reports call:
1-800-916-8800
To report fraud call:
1-800-680-7289
1-877-553-7803 (TDD)

Social Security Administration:   1-800-269-0271

Identity Theft Resource Center   

U.S.Dept. of Justice Identity Theft Info

ID Theft Info from Marketing Degree

Department of Motor Vehicles

Federal Trade Commission’s Identity Theft Hotline  1-877-438-4338   or  1-202-326-2502 (TDD)


Identity Theft Victims Packet -- Click here to view or download