Throughout the last few years the Chester Township Police Department has experienced an increase, in reported "Identity Theft incidents". Identity theft occurs when a person or persons takes control of, or uses your personal identifying information. It includes such information as name, address, date of birth, social security numbers, bank accounts and credit card accounts. It is our sincere hope to provide you, our residents with vital information that will help decrease your exposure to becoming a victim of this destructive crime.
What can you do?
- Avoid leaving out-going mail in your mailbox. Take it to the post office or to a US . Postal Collection Box. (Theft of mail is a quick way to becoming a victim).
- Shred or tear up important documents that contain personal or financial information. Don't just throw them in the trash (Individuals will sift through your garbage containers for your information).
- When purchasing items or services on-line / Internet, only enter your credit card information via a secured site. The web site will display an icon of a lock, in the bottom of the web browser page if it is secure.
- Review your Consumer Credit Report annually.
- Never give anyone personal information about yourself over a cellular telephone. The conversation is not secure and can be monitored by others.
- Avoid handing out your personal or financial information to anyone trying to sell you something over the telephone. If they are a legitimate person or business, they will be more than willing to mail you additional information, an application or identifying contact information. (This will also allow you time to verify the business with the Better Business Bureau).
If you believe that you have become a victim of identity theft, immediately complete the following:
- Report the fraud to the three major credit bureaus, Trans Union 800-680-7289, Equifax 800-525-6285 and Experian 888-397-3742. Request that they flag your account so that creditors cannot grant credit to your account, unless you directly authorize it.
- Contact the Chester Township Police Department immediately to file a police report (440) 729-1234. A decision will be made at that time, if the investigation can be handled here or you will be directed accordingly after the incident is officially documented.
- Contact all creditors (credit card companies) to notify them of the crime. Most times they will require a copy of the police report for verification purposes.
Captain Mark A. Purchase
Acting Chief of Police
Chester Twp. Police Department