In 2016, our Department investigated 92 cases of fraud and 34 of identify theft.
What is Identity Theft?
Identity theft involves acquiring key pieces of people’s identifying information in order to impersonate them or utilize their financial resources. With this information, thieves are able to take control over their victims’ financial accounts, use their credit cards, and open new bank accounts. An emerging trend is identity theft so as to fraudulently obtain health care benefits.
What is the role of the New Canaan Police Department?
A New Canaan resident whom is a victim of identity theft should report the crime to our Department, even if the offense did not occur in New Canaan. Our Department investigates crimes related to identity theft and fraud. When appropriate, we notify and coordinate fraud investigations with the United States Secret Service and other federal agencies. If a financial transaction can be identified in another jurisdiction, the investigating officer will make a formal referral to the appropriate law enforcement agency.
Preventing identity theft is the first step in protecting your financial health.
Below are some “dos” and “don’ts.”
Remove your mail from your mailbox as soon as possible. Identity thieves often steal mail.
Buy a shredder and shred all paperwork with personal identifying information (i.e. social security numbers, account numbers, etc.). Identity thieves may go through your garbage.
Shred all receipts containing credit card numbers, banking information, credit card offers or any other financial documents.
Protect your wallet/purse. Never leave them unattended.
Review your monthly financial statements, and look for irregularities or fraudulent activity.
Be cautious when making purchases or sending information over the Internet. Ensure that the website you are using is secure and uses up-to-date encryption methods.
Attend future talks hosted by our department which will provide information about how you can protect against identity theft.
Give out personal information in response to unsolicited offers by telephone, e-mail, mail, Internet or in person. Unsolicited offers are often fraudulent.
Provide personal identifiers, account numbers, and other private information to someone unless you can ensure the information is secure. Know the person or company to whom you give information to and ask what the person or company will do with the information.
If you have been a victim of identity theft:
Call our Department at 203-594-3500, to report the incident.
Contact any of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion) and ask that they place a “fraud alert” on your credit report.
Get a copy of your credit report and carefully review it.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of the nationwide credit reporting companies to provide you with a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months.
To order, visit here
or call 1-877-322-8228.
Contact the fraud department at each creditor or financial institution that provided the thief with unauthorized credit, goods or services, and provide them with the police incident number assigned to your identify theft case.
Keep detailed records of these conversations.
Contact financial institutions with which you have open accounts, even if these accounts have not yet been accessed or used fraudulently. Explain that you have been the victim of identity theft.
Contact the Federal Trade Commission online:
Organize and keep a detailed log of all of your contacts and make copies of all documents.
Document the names of all people you speak with, and the time and date of your conversations.