header background image
Current Weather 34° F
  • Jefferson County District Attorney Banner
  • Consumer Fraud Complaints

    Identity Theft Complaints


    Identity theft is the act of using, producing or acquiring key pieces of a person’s identifying information in order to impersonate them and commit crimes in that person’s name. Crimes may include creating an identification document or false identification document to obtain credit or make purchases in another person’s name.

    An identity thief will attempt to obtain some of the following personal information from another person:

    • Name
    • Address
    • Telephone number
    • Social Security number
    • Driver's license number
    • Credit card numbers
    • Bank account numbers
    • Bank card numbers and PIN
    • Telephone calling card number and PIN
    • Birth certificates
    • Passport

     

    With the above information, an identity thief can do the following in another person’s name:

    • Open credit card accounts
    • Make purchases (using another person’s funds)
    • Withdraw money (from another person’s account)
    • Print and write bogus checks on checking accounts or open a new account
    • Complete and send a change-of-address card to the post office to have financial paperwork diverted to another address, allowing the thief to deplete accounts
    • Apply for loans
    • Obtain another person’s Social Security or pension benefits
    • Rent apartments
    • Purchase vehicles
    • Establish service with utility and cellular phone companies

     

    People can gain access to your information by:

    • Posing as a loan officer and ordering your credit report (which lists account numbers)
    • Peeking over your shoulder at the ATM to obtain your account number, PIN or other personal information
    • "Dumpster Diving" in trash bins for unshredded credit applications, cancelled checks, credit card receipts, bank records, etc.
    • Creating false IDs
    • Stealing a preapproved credit application from a mailbox and using it to obtain credit in another person’s name

     

    Prevent identity theft from occurring:

    • Obtain a locked mailbox
    • Contact the credit bureaus and have your name removed from their direct mailing and sales lists. You might want to contact the Mail Preference Service View exit disclaimer policy page for links to third-party websites. and have your name removed from their mailing lists. (see the section on Mail Complaints).
    • Don't discard old checks without shredding them because they typically contain your name, address, telephone number, bank account number and bank routing number. Tendered checks may also have your driver's license number and expiration date written on them. Anyone can purchase a check-writing computer program and write checks in your name.
    • When making purchases by check, ask the cashier to shield your driver's license number from other customer's. Some websites include the background used for state driver's licenses. This background can be fraudulently downloaded and a new driver's license can be created in your name, especially if someone illegally obtains your driver's license.
    • Don't provide account numbers to telemarketers over the phone. Fraudulent telemarketers may call and inform you that your bank has posted your account information online, making them insecure. The caller may encourage you to protect your assets by enrolling in the protection service. Please be aware that no bank would ever ask you to give your bank account or PIN over the phone unless you call them for assistance.
    • Don't provide partial account numbers to telemarketers over the phone. A fraudulent telemarketer may call and request the last several digits of your credit card account and the name of the card. The caller will likely tell you not to provide the first several digits for security purposes; however those first digits, which identify the bank, are easily obtainable, giving the identity thief access to your full account number.
    • Shred all documents before discarding them. Ask lenders to do the same. Identity thieves look through garbage for unshredded credit account information. A crook can obtain all the information needed to make purchases in your name simply by looking through your trashcan.
    • Do not carry your Social Security number in your wallet.
    • Don't give any information over the phone. Always ask to have a form sent to you and determine who wants the information and for what purpose the information will be used.

     

    Follow the procedures listed below if you are the victim of identity theft:

    • Notify your bank and credit card companies that identify theft occurred.
    • Contact the Social Security Administration View exit disclaimer policy page for links to third-party websites. if you believe someone gained access to your social security number. See Social Security.
    • Contact the local police or sheriff's department to report the theft.
    • Contact the three credit reporting agencies and ask that a fraud alert be placed on your account (the numbers are listed under Credit Reports).
    • Wait a few weeks and order a free copy of your credit report to determine if unauthorized accounts were opened in your name. If they were, dispute the accounts with the lender.




    Last Updated: 7-24-2013
  • The filing of a criminal charge is merely a formal accusation that an individual has committed a crime(s).
    A defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. See Colo. RPC 3.6.