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SC police warn of online ID theft scam

Updated: December 28, 2012 6:20AM

ST. CHARLES — Police are warning residents about identity theft scams after two recent reports of thieves obtaining the information and using it to order items online and having them sent to the victims’ homes.

Both victims told police that they received a package delivered to their homes by UPS. One package contained an Apple Mac Book laptop and the other an iPhone. Both victims said they have not ordered the items. They contacted the company that shipped the merchandise and were told someone had established a new line of credit in their name and had the items shipped to their address. In both cases, the victims did not authorize the new lines of credit.

They were home at the time and located the items shortly after the delivery. Police believe the thief or thieves were hoping to intercept the delivery and collect the items before the victim got home from work. It appears that the new lines of credit were opened earlier in the month.

The victims contacted the company and arranged to send the items back before calling the police. Residents are encouraged to immediately call 911 if they receive a package they did not order. Officers can then conduct an investigation with the manufacturer and delivery company.

A release from the police department contains the following tips to help protect oneself from identity theft:

Shred any trash containing personal information, including charge receipts, credit card applications, medical statements, checks and bank statements, and direct-mail credit card offers.

Occasionally check credit reports by calling Equifax at 800-525-6285, Experian at 888-397-3742, or Trans Union at 800-680-7289.

Notify the police and your credit card companies, banks and Social Security office if your purse or wallet is stolen.

Never respond to emails supposedly from financial institutions to verify usernames, passwords and other information. They already have that information.

Anyone with questions or concerns about identity theft can come to the St. Charles Police Department lobby and talk with an officer and request an Identity Theft Victim Packet.

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