Identity theft is certainly a crime no longer reserved for the average ne’er-do-well; but often committed by sophisticated technologically proficient individuals.
Nevada’s identity theft law, NRS 205.463, makes it a crime to use another person’s identifying information with the intent to obtain property, credit or services.
The Office of the Nevada Attorney General is home to the Nevada Identity Theft Program. While they offer residents tools to recapture their identity they focus a great deal of time on educating residents as to how they can best prevent becoming a victim. Some of the key preventative tips they offer are:
Never give out personal or financial information over the telephone.
Thoroughly review all financial statements for any unusual activity. Immediately contact the company if an item looks suspicious.
Shred or destroy credit card statements, bills, insurance papers or bank statements prior to disposing of them.
Carry only one or two credit cards in your wallet.
Cancel all unused credit card accounts.
Ask about information security procedures in your workplace. Find out who has access to your personal information and verify that records are kept in a secure location. Ask about the disposal procedures for those records as well.
Do not carry your social security card in your wallet if you think an identity thief is using your social security number, call the Social Security Fraud Hotline at (800) 269-0271.
Lastly, they recommend that regularly monitoring your credit report is the single most important step you can do to safeguard your credit and limit your exposure. You can log on to http://ag.nv.gov/Hot_Topics/Victims/IDTheft_Protect/ for more information as to how you can protect yourself from identity theft!
Until next month, stay safe!