Identity theft is on the rise in our area according to a consumer advisory warning issued by Nevada Attorney General, Catherine Cortez Masto. She says Identity Theft is the fastest growing crime in the world. There are services available to help protect your identity, if you’re willing to pay. However, Washoe County Financial Crimes Detectives say there are some simple steps you can take to protect yourself.
* Regularly monitor your credit report from the three national credit reporting agencies. You are entitled to one free copy per year from each of the big three.
* If you receive suspicious phone calls from a lending institution or other organization about a loan application you did not submit, report it to the law enforcement agency of jurisdiction.
* Never give out personal or financial information over the phone.
* Thoroughly review all financial/bank statements for any unusual activity and immediately contact the company if an item looks suspicious.
* Shred or destroy credit card statements, bills, insurance papers or bank statements before throwing them out and never toss ATM and credit card receipts in a public trash container
* When making a credit card purchase, ask for the carbons if the retailer is not using carbonless forms.
* Carry only one or two credit cards in your wallet and do not carry your Social Security Card in your wallet.
* Be wary of anyone calling to “confirm” personal or financial information.
* Be careful before using a credit card or supplying personal information online.
* Keep a list or photocopy all your credit cards and bank account numbers so you can quickly contact your creditors in case your cards are lost or stolen.
* Release your Social Security number only when absolutely necessary or when required by law.
* When creating passwords and PINS, do not use anything that could be discovered easily by thieves and memorize passwords and PINS.
For more information about securing your identity, or to find out what to do if you think you’ve been victimized click on the links below.