After taking two identity theft reports in the past week in which the victims’ information was used to order items online, the St. Charles Police Department is warning residents to beware of online scams the seek your personal information.
According to police , both victims reported that they received a package delivered to their homes by UPS. One package contained an Apple MacBook laptop, the other delivery item was an iPhone.
Both victims told police they did not order the items, and after the delivery, they contacted the company that shipped the merchandise, according to a police department release. The victims determined that someone had established a new line of credit in their name and had the items shipped to their address. In both cases, the victims did not authorize the new lines of credit. They were home at the time and located the items shortly after the delivery.
The St. Charles Police Department believes the person or persons responsible hoped to intercept the deliveries and collect the items before the victims got home from work. It appears as though the new lines of credit were opened earlier in the month.
The victims contacted the company and made arrangement to send the items back before calling the police, the release states.
The department encourages residents to call 911 immediately if they receive a package they did not order. Officers then could conduct an investigation with the manufacturer and delivery company.
There are several ways you can protect yourself from being a victim of identity theft, the release states. They include:
- Shredding any trash containing personal information, including; charge receipts, credit card applications, medical statements, checks and bank statements, and direct mail credit card offers.
- Occasionally check your credit reports by calling Equifax 800-525-6285, Experian 888-397-3742, or TransUnion 800-680-7289.
- Notify the police and your credit card companies, banks and Social Security office if your purse or wallet is stolen.
- Never respond to emails that look like legitimate requests from financial institutions to verify usernames, passwords and other information — they already have it.
Anyone with questions or concerns about identity theft can come to the St. Charles Police Department lobby and talk with an officer and request an Identity Theft Victim Packet, the release states.