Ever since 1984 October has been known as National Crime Prevention Month. The purpose of which is to encourage awareness of crimes and how consumers can arm themselves to prevent these crimes from happening to them. When the general public is aware of a particular crime and understands how to prevent it you usually see a decline in that particular crime.
LifeLock, the leader in identity theft protection, is teaming up with the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Association to hold special identity theft summits for local and statewide law enforcement. The Summits are scheduled between October 19 and 28 in the following cities: Montgomery, Alabama, St. Louis, Missouri, and New Orleans, Louisiana. The purpose of the special summits is to educate law enforcement about the latest in identity theft statistics, how to fight the crime better, and new techniques criminals are using.
In addition to the identity theft summits LifeLock will also be holding several free educational presentations around the country designed for the general public. The presentations will educate and help the general public understand the risk of identity theft, common ways identity theft can happen, and current identity theft trends. Here are four quick tips that can help protect you, and will give you a taste as to the information given in the LifeLock identity theft presentations.
- ID your caller ID – Thieves are implementing a new technology to trick a phone’s caller identification system by giving a false name and number. The safest way to avoid being fooled is to crosscheck the phone number. If the caller ID gives the name of a bank, check the number that bank has listed to be sure it’s legitimate.
- Don’t let thieves RENT your identity – Even if you’re a homeowner, it’s a smart idea to request your rental history in case someone is using your PII to secure an apartment or other rental property in your name.
- As if going to the doctor wasn’t bad enough – Believe it or not, thieves these days even go to the lengths of using your identity or health insurance information to get their hands on pills and other drugs. You can contact companies, such as Intelliscript, to request your full 5-year history of prescriptions.
- Debt that (seriously) isn’t yours – It’s simple, really. If a so-called “debt collector” is hounding you and you don’t believe you owe anything, tell them to stop contacting you. According to federal law, a debt collector cannot continue to contact you if you tell them to stop. After you confirm you don’t owe the debt the person says you do, you may then discontinue all contact from the debt collection company by sending a letter to the collector. Be sure to keep a copy of the letter and the return receipt for verification purposes. If the “debt collector” still contacts you, other than to let you know there will be no further contact or to inform you that the agency is filing legal action, it is a violation, most likely by an identity thief.