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"Safety and Crime Prevention Tips"
Use "ICE" on your cell phone

ICE stands for "In Case of Emergency". Add this entry to your cell's phonebook with the number of the person you want to be contacted in the event of an emergency. Emergency personnel are being trained to look for this entry when faced with situations where a person can not communicate with them. Looking for identification only tells them who you are. ICE can tell emergency personnel who to contact. 

Identity Theft is becoming a serious problem.  The Marseilles Police Department doesn't want you to fall victim of this rapidly increasing crime.  The following tips are being provided for your consideration.

Identity Theft Prevention Tips 

  • Be aware of surroundings whenever credit cards are taken out of wallets. Fellow shoppers looking over shoulders could be photographing credit cards with camera phones or writing down credit card numbers.
  • Leave extra credit cards, Social Security cards, birth certificates and passports at home in a safe place unless they are going to be used. 
  • Make sure the cashier provides a carbon copy of the credit card receipts. This will prevent someone else from obtaining credit card numbers.
  • Keep an eye out for pickpockets. Male shoppers should carry a wallet somewhere other than a back pocket as a precautionary step. For women, carry a shoulder bag with the strap diagonally across the body, keeping the purse in front. And for women carrying a hand bag, hold it close to the front of the body instead of loosely by the hand or wrist. 
  • Be cautious when giving credit card information over the phone and never give out other personal information such as a driver’s license or Social Security number unless the company is well-established and trusted. 
  • When shopping online, make sure a valid mailing address and telephone number are provided for a business to ensure the company doesn’t exist only in cyberspace. In addition, check the company’s privacy policy before handing over confidential information.
  • To ensure someone else isn’t making purchases at a your expense, you should keep a close eye on charges on their credit card statements in upcoming months and watch out for new or unfamiliar credit card statements in the mail. You should also save their receipts until they receive their credit card or bank statement to ensure the amount they spent in a store matches the amount they are billed.
  • Don't throw credit cards applications or copies of old bills containing accounts numbers and personal information in the trash.  Shred important document before placing the trash on the curb for pickup

If you believe you are victims of identity theft to report the incident to Marseilles Police or the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction where the theft occurred; and ask for a copy of the report to show creditors and financial institutions. You should close all accounts that have been opened or accessed by identity thieves and request passwords to secure new accounts. 

Next, you should contact the fraud unit of each of the three major credit reporting agencies:
(Equifax, 1-800-525-6285; Experian, 1-888-397-3742; and Trans Union, 1-800-680-7289) to report the theft and have a fraud alert placed on their credit report. A fraud alert warns creditors to contact the consumer before opening any new accounts or changing an existing one. While placing a fraud alert on credit reports is critical, it is not fool-proof. To ensure no new credit cards or bank loans have been opened in your name, you should request a copy of your credit report from each of the three reporting agencies in the months following an identity theft. When they receive new cards, write “Ask for ID” on the signature line to ensure that clerks check identification when purchases are made. 

Under federal law, if someone reports a card stolen before it is used, the card issuer cannot hold them responsible for any unauthorized charges. If a thief uses the card before it is reported lost or stolen, the most the cardholder will owe for unauthorized charges is $50.