Habersham County Sheriff's Office ·  1000 Detention Drive  ·  Clarkesville, GA 30523  ·  (706) 754-6666

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ID THEFT

Use credit monitoring software to determine who is accessing your credit and to confirm that you have no unknown accounts opened in your name. There are many of these and there are many banks that offer discounted memberships with companies that offer this service. They notify if anything occurs involving your credit report. You can also access your credit report at any time to review as you would like.

Check kids social security numbers! Children can be victimized and the crimes can go undetected for years. There are many cases that involve family members actually using juvenile information along with false information to obtain credit. This can be a hassle to correct when your child becomes an adult and has to clear up large amounts of fraud.

INCOME TAX FRAUD

This has become more and more common. Make sure you file as soon as possible. If you file at the earliest possible time you can prevent a scammer from filing a false return using your information. If you have elderly relatives, neighbors and friends that no longer file income tax returns help them check their “income tax transcript” history. The elderly can be targeted because they no longer file legitimate returns so scammers file fraud returns and the victim is unaware that their information has been compromised. This is a very lucrative fraud scheme that is occurring right here in OUR community. If you notice a neighbor that has been unemployed and/or suddenly has expensive cars and/or other items and there seems to be no known legitimate reason for their recent purchases please report this activity. This can be done anonymously through Hernando County Crime Stoppers on the Sheriff’s Office website. You may be eligible to receive a reward if you provide enough information that an arrest results.

SOCIAL SECURITY FRAUD

Recently there has been an increase in the theft of social security money by changing the bank account information. If a suspect knows some of the basic information of the recipient they can file a bank account change over the telephone. This has recently become a regular fraud occurring in Hernando County. Please check on your family, friends and neighbors and help them discover and report these frauds. Call your social security office to look into creating a password or some other safety measure to protect your information from being changed without your knowledge.

INITIATE FRAUD ALERTS WITH CREDIT BUREAUS

This protects your credit from criminal use for fraud. It can also make credit purchases more difficult for you to get but, the slight hassle you may have to go through to obtain credit can protect you against fraud by others. The alerts/blocks can allow you to list periods of time that the fraud block is lifted (i.e. if you know u are going out to purchase a car of other large item that will require a credit check). You can lift the alert/block for the time period you need and then it can be re-instated. It will mostly affect “instant credit” because they may not be able to pull your credit and/or approve you immediately. It does not prevent current creditors and collection companies from accessing your info it only makes it more difficult for new accounts to be opened.

For more information visit this link: http://www.fightidentitytheft.com/flag.html

CREDIT CARD FRAUD

Check your balance online as often as possible, almost all companies have online or telephone access to review your account. You only have a certain time frame to detect and report fraud purchases in order to have them removed from your account. If the credit card company determines that you knew or should have known about the fraud charge and did nothing they may not remove the fraud charges. So be diligent and review your statements every month and/or check balances more frequently. Be careful when making credit card purchases that require you to hand your card to someone that will take the card out of your sight to process a transaction (typically restaurants). One way to avoid becoming a victim of a “large scale” fraud that could drain your main bank account is to do the following:

Get a completely separate account (not linked via overdraft protection to any of your other bank and/or credit card accounts)

Place a pre-determined amount of money in that account (depending on your spending habits anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousands)
Whenever the card will be out of your sight hand the debit card for this account to the employee.

If your card information is compromised during this transaction the amount of lose you suffer will be limited to how much you keep in that account. The loss will also not drain your main account that could cause bill payments/checks to be dishonored.

This can also be done with credit card accounts by having one your creditors reduce your maximum credit limit to a few hundred dollars. Then use that card when it will be used out of your sight.

 

Habersham County Sheriff's Office
1000 Detention Drive Clarkesville, Ga. 30523
Phone: 706-754-6666 Fax: 839-7065
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