University Police

Identity Theft Prevention

Learn how criminals can get your personal information, what you can do to prevent identity theft, and what to do if you become a victim of identity theft.

How criminals can get your information

Dumpster diving. They may steal your mail, including bank and credit card statements, containing personal information. Often this information is obtained from the trash.

Skimming. Credit card numbers can be recorded with the use of a special storage device when your card is being processed.

Stealing. They may steal your purse or wallet.

Phishing and pretexting. They may steal personal information from you through email (phishing) or phone (pretexting) by posing as a legitimate company claiming you have a problem with your account.

Mail diverting. They may complete a change of address form to divert your mail to another location.

What you can do to prevent identity theft

Keep your social security card locked in a safe place. Do not carry it in your wallet or purse.

Install a firewall system on your computer.

Do not give personal information over the phone or via email to anyone you do not know.

Beware of anyone standing too close behind you when you are using your credit card, writing a check, or using an ATM.

Check your credit report on a regular basis.

Consider signing up for a credit card alert service.

If you are a victim of identity theft

Contact the fraud departments of any one of the three major credit bureaus to place an initial fraud alert on your credit reports. The fraud alert requests creditors to contact you before opening any new accounts or making any changes to your existing accounts.

Immediately close the accounts that you know or believe have been tampered with or opened fraudulently.

File a police report. Get a copy of the report to submit to your creditors and others that may require proof of the crime.

File your complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC maintains a database of identity theft cases used by law enforcement agencies for investigation.

Contact the Department of Motor Vehicles and follow the procedures to get a replacement ID Card or Drivers License. Advise them that your license was lost or stolen and that you may have been a victim of identity theft.

To file a police report on campus, contact the University Police Department at 831-655-0268.

In the event of an emergency, dial 9-1-1.

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