Crime Prevention

Identity Theft

Identify theft is the unauthorized use of another person’s personal identifying information to commit financial fraud. Upon obtaining such personal identifiers, identity thieves have the ability to commit financial crimes such as opening phony bank accounts, getting unauthorized credit cards, applying for car or house loans and leasing apartments with a false name. Identity thieves may even develop a criminal record or file bankruptcy in their victim’s name. Please find below identity theft prevention tips, as well as steps to take if you become an identity theft victim. For more information, please contact the Police Department at 815-462-6100.

Identity Theft Prevention Tips:

  • Don’t give out your social security number unless necessary.
  • Request your credit report at least once a year and check for any unauthorized activity.
  • Shred personal documents before putting them in the refuse/recycling.
  • Don’t have checks delivered to an unlocked mailbox.
  • Don’t place mail that contains personal identifiers in an unlocked mailbox.
  • Don’t carry unnecessary credit cards, your social security card, birth certificate or passport in your wallet or purse except when absolutely necessary.
  • Never give out your credit card number or other personal information over the phone unless you have a trusted business relationship with the company and you initiated the call.
  • Carefully review your credit card statements and phone bills for any unauthorized use.

If you become a victim of identity theft:

  • Immediately contact the fraud units of the three credit reporting bureaus and ask for a credit report so you can identify fraudulent activity. Also ask each bureau to flag your account with a fraud alert to indicate you have been a victim of fraud:
  • Equifax: 1-800-525-6285
  • Experian: 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742)
  • TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289
  • Make a report with law enforcement departments within your jurisdiction.
  • Contact all creditors with whom your personal identifiers have been used fraudulently by telephone and letter. Enclose a copy of the police report.
  • Stop payment on all outstanding checks and cancel your checking and savings accounts. To report fraudulent use of your checks:
  • Check Rite: 1-800-766-2748
  • Chexsystems: 1-800-428-9623
  • Cross Check: 1-707-586-0551
  • Equifax: 1-800-437-5120
  • National Processing Co: 1-800-526-5380
  • Scan: 1-800-262-7777
  • Telecheck: 1-800-710-9898
  • If your social security number has been obtained, call the Social Security Administration: (800) 269-0271. If someone obtains a driver’s license in your name or is using your driver’s license number, contact your local Secretary of State Office and ask to put a fraud alert on your license.
  • Identity Theft Packet
  • Fraud Alert FAQ
  • Federal Trade Commission: (887) 438-4338

How criminals get your personal information:

  • Dumpster Diving. They rummage through trash looking for bills or other paper with your personal information on it.

  • Skimming. They steal credit/debit card numbers by using a special storage device when processing your card.

  • Phishing. They pretend to be financial institutions or companies and send spam or pop-up messages to get you to reveal your personal information.

  • Changing Your Address. They divert your billing statements to another location by completing a change of address form.

  • Old-Fashioned Stealing. They steal wallets and purses; mail, including bank and credit card statements; pre-approved credit offers; and new checks or tax information. They steal personnel records, or bribe employees who have access.

  • Pretexting. They use false pretenses to obtain your personal information from financial institutions, telephone companies, and other sources. For more information about pretexting, click here.

Information to guard from identity thieves:

  • Social security number, birth date, driver’s license number, mother’s maiden name, current and past addresses, credit card numbers, personal identification numbers and access codes, passports, firearms identification cards, employee identification cards.

Tips for When on Vacation and Away from Home

Below is a list of security tips to consider when you and your family are away from home for an extended period of time. For additional questions or for more information, please contact the Village of New Lenox’s Police Department at 815-462-6100.

  • Place a vacation hold on newspaper subscriptions, mail delivery and include the start and ending dates.
  • Ask a neighbor to pick up newspapers and mail if the vacation hold is not followed. Ask them to remove throwaway papers and circulars from the doorway and mailbox.
  • Place interior lights and a radio on timers to give the appearance that the home is occupied.
  • Have front exterior lights on photocells that activate in the evening and shut off at daybreak.
  • Notify neighbors of your absence and encourage them to contact the police regarding any suspicious activity at your home.
  • Arrange to have the grass cut and watered, leaves raked, and the sidewalk and driveway shoveled as necessary.
  • Remove all tools, lawn implements, garbage cans and yard furniture to the garage, basement or shed.
  • Unplug all non-essential electrical appliances such as computers, fans, television, irons, washers and dryers to avoid damage from electrical storms.
  • Be sure the sump pump is functioning properly and free from debris to avoid basement flooding.
  • Set the home thermostat at a reasonable temperature – 85 degrees in the summer and 50 degrees in the winter.
  • Make sure all entry points into the home are secure.
  • Close the fireplace flue to prevent birds and animals from entering.
  • If you have an alarm system, leave a current list of contacts with the alarm company in case of system activations.
  • Disconnect the electric garage door opener and lock the garage door.
  • Be sure all vehicles left home are locked and remove all valuables.

Tips to Prevent Vehicle Break-ins

The following tips help prevent vehicle break-ins, which could lead to theft of the vehicle itself or of property items from the vehicle.

  • LOCK YOUR CAR DOORS.
  • Park in your garage, if you have one.
  • Don’t leave your vehicle on the street, or on your driveway. If you have to park
    on a street, avoid dark or isolated areas.
  • Don’t leave spare keys in your vehicle. An experienced thief knows all the hiding places. Store spare keys in your wallet.
  • Install an alarm system that will sound when someone attempts to break in, move, tilt, or start your vehicle. Always activate the system when leaving the vehicle.
  • Check your vehicle if you hear the alarm sound. But don’t try to stop a person attempting to break in. Get a good description of the person and call the police.
  • Never leave any contents or valuables in plain sight. Remove cellular phones, audio systems, computers, packages, sport equipment, cameras, purses, etc. Lock them in the trunk before you park or take them with you.
  • Etch your driver’s license number on all removable valuable items, e.g., audio equipment. Also etch the number on various places on the vehicle itself.  
       
       
       

       
      Contact Us
      Village of New Lenox
      1 Veterans Parkway
      New Lenox, Illinois 60451
      Phone: (815) 462-6400
      Village Hall Hours:
      Monday - Friday 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
       
      Home of Proud Americans
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