Take a minute to think about your habits – do you delete spam emails? Do you keep your Social Security Number in a secure place? What about you statements and receipts – do you shred them before throwing them away? There are some simple steps you can take to reduce or minimize the risk of becoming a victim of identity theft.
Practice safe internet use.
Privacy is an important issue, especially in the information age. To keep your data safe, delete spam emails asking for personal information and keep your antivirus and anti-spyware software up to date. Shop online only with secure web pages (check your browser for an image of a lock or look for “https” in the address bar). Never send credit card numbers, Social Security Numbers and other personal information via email.
Destroy private records.
Tear up or shred credit card statements, ATM, credit or debit card receipts, bank deposit receipts, loan solicitations and other documents that contain private financial information.
Secure your mail.
Empty your mailbox regularly and consider investing in a mailbox lock. When mailing bill payments and checks, consider dropping them off at the post office or in a secure mailbox. These are simple changes that can have a big impact on your personal security.
Be careful with your Social Security Number.
Your Social Security Number is a major target because it can give identity thieves access to your credit report and bank accounts. Never carry your card with you. Instead, memorize your number and keep the card in a secure place at home or in a safety deposit box. Never write or print your Social Security number on checks.
Check your credit report.
At least once a year, obtain and review your credit report for suspicious activity. Request your free credit report once every 12 months. Consumers are entitled to a free copy of their credit report every 12 months from each of the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Visit www.annualcreditreport.com to request your credit report online, by phone, or through
the mail. To get a free estimate of your credit score, visit www. whatsmyscore.org/estimator.
Be aware of scams.
Always be on the defensive with your private information. Never give out personal information to telemarketers or respond to emails from someone claiming to represent your bank, credit card issuer, a government agency, a charity, or other organization. If you think the request is legitimate, contact the company directly to confirm.
Crime Prevention Tips:
Preventing Auto Burglaries ~ Always roll up vehicle windows and lock all doors. Hide your personal belongings. If you leave property visible in your vehicle, your vehicle is automatically a target. Store items in your trunk before you arrive on-site; avoid storing items in your trunk after you park.
Preventing Residential Burglaries ~ You have to be the eyes of your neighborhood and remember you can always remain a pair of anonymous eyes. Light up your residence, lock your doors at all times, set your alarms, consider installing security cameras, and call the Police when you see something suspicious!
Robbery Prevention Tips:
Trust your instincts. If you sense trouble, get away as soon as possible.
Show confidence. Walk at a steady pace, keep your head up and avoid carrying lots of packages…It can make you look defenseless.
Don’t look like an easy target. Robbers want someone who will provide the least resistance. If you look like you know where you are going, walk with your head up and eyes alert, you will most likely be left alone.
Remain alert and observe the people around you. Know who is walking behind and in front of you. Things to watch for include suspicious persons or vehicles, people who are wearing inappropriate clothing for the weather (e.g. a long or heavy coat in warm weather), and people just loitering around.
Walk in well-lit areas. If possible, do not walk alone.
Be aware of your surroundings. If you think you are being followed, go to a crowded area.
Do not carry large amounts of money.
Carry keys in your hand.
IF YOU OBSERVE SUSPICIOUS PERSONS OR ACTIVITIES, CALL THE POLICE.
FISHING IS NOT PERMITTED AT ANY OF THE LAKES OR PONDS IN BLACKHAWK AND IS CONSIDERED TRESPASSING. TRESPASSERS WILL BE CITED.
Blackhawk Police Services
1092 Eagle Nest Place
Dispatch (925) 646-2441
By Tricia England, Blackhawk Police Chief