October 18, 2011
The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office has experienced an increase in the number of reports of credit card fraud recently. It is not yet clear what is causing this increase but a formal investigation is underway.
The Sheriff reminds citizens to be cautious when sharing personal information, especially when responding to emails or text messages. Banks and financial institutions usually will not request your personal information via email or text message unless you contact them first.
Don’t give out personal information on the phone, through the mail, or on the Internet unless you’ve initiated the contact and are sure you know who you’re dealing with. Identity thieves are clever, and may pose as representatives of banks, Internet service providers (ISPs), and even government agencies to get people to reveal their Social Security number, mother’s maiden name, account numbers, and other identifying information.
Before you share any personal information, confirm that you are dealing with a legitimate organization. Check an organization’s website by typing its URL in the address line, rather than cutting and pasting it. Many companies post scam alerts when their name is used improperly. You can also call customer service using the number listed on your account statement or in the telephone book.
If you think you have been a victim of credit card fraud you should contact your local law enforcement agency. For further tips on preventing identity theft visit the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office website at http://larimersheriff.org/site-page/identity-theft-prevention .