Identity theft, check forgery and credit card fraud are at an all time high throughout the region. Methamphetamine users are largely responsible for perpetrating these crimes using sophisticated techniques and equipment. There are steps you can take to reduce your chances of becoming a victim:
Becoming a Victim
Use a secured USPO mailbox or go to the Post Office to mail your outgoing mail. Do not put outgoing mail in your residential mailbox for the Letter Carrier to pick up.
Retrieve your incoming mail as soon as it is delivered, especially if you have an unlocked roadside mailbox. Consider renting a Post Office Box.
Before disposal, shred all personal papers, old checks, unsolicited credit card offers and "courtesy credit card checks", old bills and anything that has your personal information.
Obtain your own credit history from all 3 of the major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, TransUnion and Experian). Do this every 12 months and watch for errors and/or accounts that you do not recognize.
Make a copy (front and back) of all items in your wallet in the event that it is lost or stolen you can contact credit card companies to cancel cards.
If you suspect that you are a victim of identity theft report it the law enforcement agency where you live. Aggressively pursue the matter with the credit reporting agencies. A good guideline to use in doing this is a booklet entitled ID Theft: When Bad Things Happen to Your Good Name (PDF)
published by the Federal Trade Commission