News & Events

Subject: Identity Theft

During the next few weeks, the Sonora Police Department will post information to help safeguard you from several different forms of identity theft, which are becoming more and more prevalent in the Mother Lode.
The information for these posts was gathered from several different sources such as; U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigations, U.S. Government’s Online Safety Site, Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, as well as the Federal and State Departments of Justice.
Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information without your consent, or knowledge, for financial, as well as other gains. This is one of the fastest growing crimes in America. It’s estimated 12 million people were the victims of identity theft last year alone.
Identity theft has topped the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s ranking of consumer complaints for the last five years. “Prime targets” are normally children, college students, members of the armed services, veterans, as well as seniors. However, it can happen to anyone at any time.
Typically, identity theft involves someone stealing your personal information to pose as you in one way or another. A newer and growing variety of this crime is called Synthetic Identity Theft. In Synthetic Identity Theft, your personal information is combined with fake data to create a brand new “bogus” identity. A thief may combine your Social Security number with a different name or other fake credentials. Synthetic Identity Theft can be harder to detect, which can lead to extensive damage to our credit. Often times this is discovered when reviewing your credit report and notice accounts opened under your name, which you didn’t open; or during the filing of your taxes when someone else is using your Social Security number with their name or a “bogus” name.
While no one is safe from identity theft, there are steps you can take to lower your risk. During the next few weeks we will look at ways to help protect you and others from these types of crimes. Next time we will look at scams, plus how to prevent from becoming a victim of one.
If you ever have any questions regarding identity theft, you can always call the Sonora Police Department at 532-8141, and ask to speak with an officer.