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Protect yourself and your family from financial crimes.

March is Financial Crimes Awareness month and we are thrilled to partner with the Houston Police Department (HPD) to bring valuable awareness and education about this subject. In this post HPD discusses what constitutes a financial crime, signs of financial exploitation, and best practices to protect yourself and your loved ones from financial victimization.

What is Financial Crimes? Financial Crimes deal with anything concerning financial crimes; such as Identity Theft, Credit Card Abuse, Theft and Forgery of Governmental Documents. Must of Financial Crimes deal with Identity Theft.

Identity Theft is a common term used by all types of crimes in which some wrongfully obtains and uses another’s personal data in some manner that involves fraud or deception, usually for economic gain. Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in America.

How is Identity Theft Committed? It can be committed by Shoulder Surfing, Business Record Theft, Scamming, Phone Fraud, Skimming, Dumpster Diving, Mail Theft, Steal Wallet or Purse, The information Highway and Spoofing and Phishing.

What are some of the warning signs of Identity Theft?

  • Your monthly credit card and bank statements suddenly stop arriving.
  • You are denied credit for reasons that do not match your understanding of your financial position.
  • You start getting bills from companies you do not recognize.
  • You receive calls from collection agencies or creditors for an account you don’t have or that is up to date.
  • You observe unusual entries on your credit report.
  • Financial account statements show withdrawals you didn’t make.
  • A creditor calls to say you’ve been approved or denied credit that you haven’t applied for or you get credit card statements for accounts you don’t have.

What do you do if you are a victim of identity theft?

  • Contact the companies or institutions where you know fraud has occurred. You should contact their fraud department and explain that you are a victim of identity theft. Ask them to freeze or close the accounts. Then change any logins, passwords, or pins you may have for those accounts.
  • Place a fraud alert with one of the three credit bureaus: Experian, Transunion, or Equifax.
  • Report the incident to your local law enforcement agency as well as the Federal Trade Commission (IdentityTheft.gov).
  • You should obtain a copy of your credit report and review it. Make note of any accounts or transactions you do not recognize.
  • Stay vigilant! Unfortunately, once your personal or financial information has been compromised there is no way to recall or retract it. You will have keep a close eye on all of your accounts and look for any suspicious activity.

Posted by on 26 Mar 2021