Police warn of identity theft

Published 7:26 pm Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Identity theft and fraud in Clanton has risen 108 percent since 2009, according to Sgt. Robert Bland with the Clanton Police Department.

Bland, along with Police Chief Brian Stilwell and Capt. David Clackley, spoke about the growing problem at Tuesday’s Chilton County Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

Bland talked about how identity theft occurs—from stolen wallets and purses to dumpster diving, stolen business records and over the Internet.

To reduce the risk of having your identity stolen, Bland gave the following tips:

•Destroy credit card applications, receipts, bank and billing statements.

•Avoid giving your Social Security Number unless it’s absolutely necessary—use other identifiers.

•Pay attention to billing cycles.

•Carry as little identification information as possible.

•Limit the number of credit cards you carry.

•Don’t give personal identification on the phone unless you initiate the call.

•Don’t carry your Social Security card.

•Be informed about your financial institution’s policies of sharing information.

•Make sure your credit reports are accurate.