Alabama Gazette - The people's voice of reason

Sheriff Sedinger would like to warn people about SCAMS and Identity Theft.

 

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There are people who make a living by separating good, honest, hard-working, trusting people from their hard earned money. Please be aware of these SCAMS! There is not a Police Department or Sheriff's Office around that will call you on the phone and tell you that there is a warrant for your arrest, and you can get out of it by going to the store and buying credit or gift cards. That is NOT how the Judicial System in Alabama works. If someone is asking for payment in Green Dot Cards, iTunes Cards, or other types of gift cards...YOU ARE BEING SCAMMED! Please do not become a victim.

Identity Theft is a growing concern, especially in Autauga County. There is not a week that goes by without one or more of my deputies that has to do a report for a victim of Identity Theft. Once your identity is stolen it can be difficult to get it back like it was before it was stolen. Here are a few tips to help protect your identity:

• Install passwords on your credit card, bank and phone accounts. Avoid using information like your mother's maiden name, birth day, or Social Security Number. Don't use the same password for more than one account.

• Protect your deposit slips and check book.

• Monitor your accounts and keep receipts to review against your monthly statements.

DO NOT GIVE OUT INFORMATION OVER THE PHONE OR INTERNET TO UNSOLICITED CONTACTS! If you did not request contact with a credit card company, bank official, internet service provider, or a government office, these calls are a SCAM. Please do not provide any names, Social Security Numbers, or account numbers.

• Guard your mail from theft. If you see someone going through neighbors mailboxes, report it at once to your local law enforcement agency.

• Buy a shredder! Shred all documents that show personal, financial and medical information before you throw them away.

• Have recurring checks direct deposited into your bank.

• Only carry the debit/credit cards and identification you need. Never carry your social security card.

• Secure personal information in a safe place. Write down all your credit card numbers and contact phone numbers in case they are lost or stolen, you have a list to call to report.

ONLY GIVE YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER WHEN ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY!

• Order a copy of your credit report each year and review it for accuracy. Checking your report will show any unauthorized accounts using your identity.

If you would like a copy of the book Safe and Secure or how to recover from Identity Theft, please stop by the Autauga County Sheriff's Office during business hours and request a copy.

 

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