Identity theft is a growing problem in Orono and elsewhere. If you become a victim of identify theft, it may take years to correct the ensuing issues. Perhaps the most important step people can take to avoid becoming victims of identify theft is to safeguard their mail:
- Use U.S. Postal mail boxes for all out going mail. Identity thieves will steal your out-going bills, if placed in your mailbox, to access account numbers.
- Pick up your mail as soon as possible after it is delivered.
- Shred any documents with account numbers before discarding them.
- Periodically obtain a free credit report to ensure no new accounts have been opened under your identity
Identity Theft Victim Resources:
If you think you are a victim of ID theft, there are a few things you shoud do:
Contact the fraud departments of the 3 major credit bureaus:
- Equifax - 800-525-6285
- Experian - 888-397-3742
- TransUnion - 800-680-7289
Notify your financial institution
Inform your credit issuers
File a police report with your local law encorcement
To help prevent crimes in your neighborhood, be a good neighbor and a good witness. Watch out for unusual activity at your neighbors' houses or business and call to report suspicious activity. Don't feel like you're bothering us.
If you don't feel comfortable calling 911 for a non-emergency situation, call 952-258-5321 and an officer will be dispatched.
Arrange to have your mail and paper taken in when you are going to be away, and offer to do to the same for your neighbors.
Theft of Items from Vehicles
To help prevent loss of valuables, don't keep them or cash in your car. Lock your car even in your own driveway, and don't leave the keys in the car even if it's in your garage. Thieves are looking for opportunity, and if you make it difficult for a thief to steal from you, they will go elsewhere.
- Keep information on all your electronics or high priced items. The following information can be very valuable when we recover / identify property
- Identifying marks
- Serial or model number
- Jewelry should be photographed and if possible a receipt of purchase would also be helpful.
- Have your license plate written down somewhere. In a state of shock, its hard to remember that type of information.
- Trust your instincts - if something doesn't feel right, then get out of that situation.