Identity Theft / Fraud
Before buying gift cards or sending money, do any of these sound familiar?
- Are you sending money to claim a lottery prize
- Are you sending money to help someone get a large sum of money out of their country?
- Are you sending money because a relative called from another state or country and told you that they need help?
- Are you sending money because you were “guaranteed” a credit card or loan?
- Are you sending money to someone you have not met personally?
- Are you sending money to someone you’ve never met to pay for their trip to America?
- Are you sending money to have your computer repaired?
- Did your boss call and say they need you to buy gifts for other employees?
These are just some examples of scams being perpetrated using money transfers. If any of these sound like your situation, please call the Police Department for assistance and advice.
Learn more about common fraud schemes.
Identity theft places a burden on its victims and presents a challenge to businesses, organizations and government agencies, including the IRS.
The IRS combats tax-related identity theft with an aggressive strategy of prevention, detection and victim assistance. We’re making progress against this crime, as it remains one of our highest priorities.
Tax-related identity theft occurs when someone uses your Social Security number to file a tax return claiming a fraudulent refund. If you become a victim, we’re committed to helping you resolve your case as quickly as possible.
The IRS doesn't initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media channels. The IRS does not call taxpayers with threats of lawsuits or arrests.
- They steal wallets and purses containing you identification and credit cards.
- They steal your mail that may include bank statements or other personal financial information.
- They rummage through your trash, or the trash at a business looking for personal data.
- They find personal information inside your home.
- They use personal information you share over the Internet.
- They perform telephone, mail, or Internet scams requesting you provide personal information to them.
- They steal files from businesses that keep records of your personal information.
- They may call your credit card issuer and pretend to be you. They may request that the mailing address on your account be changed in order to delay your receipt of the charges to the account.
- They may open a brand new credit account in your name and make several charges to the account. Often in this circumstance, you may never receive a bill until the collectors start calling.
- They establish phone or wireless service in your name.
- They open a bank account in your name and write bad checks on the account.
- They create checks with your actual account number and write them for large amounts.
- They take loans for large items, such as cars, in your name.
- They give your name to police officers and at times are actually booked under your name. They don’t show up for court and a warrant is later issued for your name
- Place passwords on your credit card, bank and phone accounts.
- Secure personal information in your home. If possible, use a safety deposit box at your bank to store personal information.
- Shred all documents that contain personal information before putting them in the trash.
- Do not leave your purse, wallet, or anything else containing personal information unsecured. Do not set them down in public areas and never leave them in an unoccupied vehicle.
- Place bills you are sending out in a secure postal collection box rather than in your mailbox at home.
- Collect your personal mail promptly. Stop your mail if you are going to be out of town.
- Consider paying your bills online.
- Do not distribute personal information over the Internet unless you are confident that the Internet site is secure.
- Never give out personal information over the phone. Request a number from any agency requesting your information, verify the number, and then call them back.
- Find out how your personal information will be shared before giving it to anyone.
- Monitor your bank statements closely.
- Opt out of, or remove your name from marketing or promotional lists maintained by credit bureaus, direct marketers, and other organizations with which you have a relationship. Call 1-888-5OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688) for more information.
- Ask about information security procedures in your workplace.
- When asked for your social security number ask why do you need it, how it will be used, and if you are required to supply it?
- Do not print your social security number, phone number or middle name on personal checks.
- Contact the fraud departments of each of the three major credit bureaus.
P.O. Box 105
Atlanta, GA 30348
P.O. Box 2104
Allen, TX 75013
P.O. Box 390
Springfield, PA 19064
- Close the accounts that you know or believe have been tampered with or opened fraudulently.
- Ask the each bank or company to send you their fraud dispute forms or ID theft affidavit.
- File a police report with your local police department.
- Provide documentation before filing the report, including debt collection letters, credit reports, theft affidavits, bank statements, and any other evidence of fraudulent activity.
- If your checks have been stolen, notify the following check database companies:
The Fox Point Police Department has a PDF document outlining procedures and template letters for protecting your identity. Review and download the document here. Identity Theft
For information on how to dispute credit reporting errors and fair credit reporting go to: Federal Trade Commission
For information on which agency has jurisdiction over your banking institution go to: Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council
For information regarding mail theft go to: Postal Inspector
For information regarding local phone fraud contact your service provider.
For information regarding cellular phone fraud contact your service provider or go to:Federal Communications Commission
For information regarding the fraudulent use of your social security number go to: Social Security Administration. You may also call the Social Security Administration at (800)269-0271.
For information about tax fraud go to: IRS Tax Fraud
If your driver’s license is stolen report it to the police and contact: Wisconsin DOT
For more general information regarding identity theft and how to avoid becoming a victim go to: Federal Trade Commission