From the Desk of Detective Ed Mateo – Protect Your Identity This Summer

Detective Ed Mateo is one of your Police Department’s resident experts in fraudulent crimes, including identity theft.  As we move towards the summer months and we naturally get more relaxed in the sun, its not time to relax when it comes to protecting your credit and your identity.  With that, here’s a few tips to protect your identity this summer:

From the desk of Detective Ed Mateo:

Identity Theft is an international problem. Many of the crimes are actually initiated outside of the United States. The enforcement and investigation of Identity Theft and Internet Crimes can be difficult. The most important thing you can do is to be PROACTIVE and prevent identity theft. The following tips will help reduce your chance of being a victim of Identity theft or an online scam:

  • Do not ever provide your personal information based upon a phone call or email you receive. Call the bank or inquiring company from the phone number on your statement.
  • Do not wire anyone money from Western Union, Moneygram, Green Dot or any other money transfer service. If the transaction is fraudulent you will not get your money back.
  • Don’t simply throw away sensitive documents. SHRED them,
  • “Look for the S”  – Secured websites start with “Https”
  • If it sounds phony, it probably is. Be WARY of unsolicited emails offering big payouts or prizes you won from contests YOU NEVER ENTERED.

What to do if your Identity is stolen?

If your identity is stolen you need to immediately notify the issuing bank and any companies that may have also been affected. In addition please follow the additional steps:

  • Place a fraud alert with the three reporting bureaus. Experian (888-397-3742), TransUnion (800-680-7293) and Equifax (800-685-1111).
  • Review your credit report regularly. A free credit report can be obtained from http://www.annualcreditreport.com.
  • Review your financial statements regularly.
  • Complete any affidavits or reports provided to you by the affected financial institutions.
  • Visit the Federal Trade Commission website (www.ftc.gov) for more information regarding additional steps to protect your identity

Identity Theft Investigation:

It is important to preserve evidence to help identity the suspects of Identity Theft. For crimes that occur within the jurisdiction of the City of San Mateo, it is important for responding officers to know exactly when and where fraudulent purchases were made. A patrol officer will need the date, time, location and amount of every fraudulent transaction. Some retailers can only research transactions based upon the credit card number used. Please provide the full credit card number to the investigating officer.

For crimes outside the jurisdiction of San Mateo, the San Mateo Police Department will provide a courtesy report and forward it to the outside jurisdiction.  Regardless of where it happened, if you are a resident of San Mateo we will do everything possible to help you get back on track to reclaiming your identity.

Detective Ed Mateo is a 12 year veteran of the San Mateo Police Department and a proven expert in a variety of fields, serving as a department Range Master, Firearms Expert, a Certified Computer Forensics Examiner, and a Court Recognized expert witness in Mobile and Computer Forensics and Recovered Data Analysis.  He is the Go-To guy for all things computers during any related investigation. 

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