The Elgin Police Department would like to alert its residents to a recent string of identity thefts that have occurred in the Waterford Subdivision, on the City’s far southwest side. Within the last month and a half, at least six (6) incidents have been reported by neighbors that have had their identities compromised and fraudulent credit has been obtained. It is unknown as of yet, how the identities of the victims was stolen but theft of the mail from the mailboxes is a strong possibility. The police department requests that residents report any suspicious activity to the proper authorities, to include the reporting of the theft of mail to the United States Postal Service. The police department has reported the above incidents to the area United States Postal Inspector already. Residents in the area are encouraged to run a credit check to determine if their information may have been compromised. If it is found that their identity has been stolen or fraudulent activity is found on the credit report they are requested to file a police report.
Other on-line links and steps to take to limit your risk of identity theft are included below:
www.annualcreditreport.com or call 1-877-322-8228 – a service created by Equifax, Experian and TransUnion wherein you can order your free credit reports each year.
To stop unsolicited pre-approved credit card offers, call the “OPT OUT” line or go online. The call is free and there is no charge for this service; however, you will need to give out your social security number. You will need to download or have sent to you a form to permanently OPT OUT. Sign the form and return it to www.optoutprescreen.com or call 1-888-567-8688.
To reduce the amount of unsolicited national advertising mail you receive at home, you may register with DMA choice by filing out form at www.DMAchoice.org
Stop the convenience checks that you receive in the mail from VISA, Discover, MC, etc., by calling the number on the back of your credit cards and tell the company to STOP sending the convenience checks.
On-line banking and paying of bills on-line is safer than paper banking (80% of identity theft is a result of stolen PAPER documents). Think about having bank statements sent to you online as well as paying your monthly bills on line; therefore eliminating any paper in your mailbox.
Put your outgoing bills in a US Postal mail box. If you put your outgoing bills/checks in your mailbox with the red flag up, it means “steal me” to a thief.
If you feel you have been victimized, you may report the incident to the Police Department in one of two methods. First, through the on-line reporting method of Coplogic or you may report the incident at the Police Department Information Desk.