Attorney general warns of military identity theft

SALT LAKE CITY — On Wednesday and following the announcement of recent federal data breaches and in observance of Military Consumer Protection Day, Attorney General Sean Reyes warned military service members throughout Utah to watch for signs of identity theft.

One of my top priorities is to help protect Utah families – whether from violent crime or from fraud,” Reyes said. “And that is precisely why I re-launched Utah’s ID Theft Central, which helps Utahns report identify theft and correct damage caused by it.”

In February, Reyes launched Utah’s new ID Theft Central for public use to report, repair and find resources to combat identity theft.  The website allows Utah consumers to conveniently report identity theft as well as enroll their children in a free Child Identity Protection program.

They can also learn methods to protect themselves against identity theft, learn about Utah identity theft laws, become informed about the latest scams, and locate on a map where identity theft happens in Utah.

Identity theft occurs when someone obtains and uses an individual’s personal information without permission to commit fraud. In 2014, identity theft was the number one military complaint filed with the Federal Trade Commission, representing 27 percent of all military consumer complaints.

“Anyone in Utah can be impacted by identity theft, but it can be particularly difficult to manage for military families,” Reyes said. “We urge all service members and Utahns to visit ID Theft Central to review warning signs and prevention tips.”

Warning signs of identity theft include:

  • Your monthly credit card statements suddenly stop arriving
  • You are denied credit for no apparent reason
  • You begin receiving bills from companies you do not recognize
  • Credit collection agencies try to collect on debts that do not belong to you

Military members and their families can help protect themselves from identity theft by taking the following steps:

  • If you’re an active-duty service member, you can place an “active duty alert” on your credit report thereby informing credit-reporting agencies you are deployed and should not be opening new lines of credit. With an “active duty alert” in place, you will receive notifications of any attempts to open lines of credit in your name
  • Carefully review every credit card and bank statement for unauthorized charges
  • Burn or shred, with a cross-cut shredder, any mail or financial papers that contain your personal information.  Never recycle such documents.
  • Destroy all receipts, shipping slips and bills that use your credit card number
  • Never leave transaction receipts at ATM machines, on counters at financial institutions or at gasoline pumps
  • Call 1-888-567-8688 or visit OptoutPrescreen to stop credit card companies from sending pre-approved credit card applications to your home

Resources

Submitted by the offices of Attorney General Sean Reyes.

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