Mayor, Police Offer Tips to Prevent Identity Theft
Monday January 14, 2008
Attorney General Offers Help to Victims
Identity theft continues to affect hundreds of families in Louisville each year, and today Mayor Jerry Abramson encouraged individuals to safeguard their financial health in the new year by protecting their personal information.
“Identity theft is a growing problem not only in our community, but across the country,” Abramson said. “We want people to know there are simple steps to keep that valuable financial information from falling into the wrong hands and wrecking your bank account.”
Abramson was joined by Louisville Metro Police Chief Robert White and Attorney General Jack Conway. Both offered tips on avoiding identity theft, as well as help to victims trying to restore their credit history after they discover fraud.
“We investigated 670 cases of identity theft last year,” White said. “Our detectives think the actual numbers are likely much higher, because many victims report the fraud only to their bank or credit card agencies. Our officers have been successful in tracking down some of these identity thieves and charging them with the appropriate crimes so they can’t victimize anyone else.”
“Our office strongly encourages people to sign up for a service that limits the amount of junk mail you receive,” said Conway. “Many thieves prey on pre-approved credit applications that arrive in your mailbox – you can stop receiving that kind of identity theft bait with a simple phone call.”
LMPD Fraud officers offer several tips for citizens to keep their identities safe:
Remove mail from your mailbox as soon after delivery as possible.
Deposit outgoing mail in street mailboxes or at your local post office instead of your home.
Never give personal information over the telephone.
Shred any documents with personal information such as pre-approved credit applications, credit card receipts, bills and other financial information.
Obtain a copy of your credit report once a year to check for unusual activity.
Check your financial statements in a timely manner, and immediately report any charges you don’t recognize to your financial institution.
Report all lost or stolen credit cards, checks or driver’s licenses.
Memorize your Social Security number, and never carry the card in your wallet.
Beware of mail or telephone promotions offering instant prizes of awards. (If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.)
For more information about the Keep Louisville Safe initiative, visit www.LouisvilleKy.gov or call 574-LMPD.