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Los Angeles Police Department Amended Identity Theft Prevention and Victim Information Circular

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2001
12 pages
The purpose of this circular is to standardize identity-theft-prevention and victim information presented by the Los Angeles Police Department at community crime prevention meetings.
As defined under California law, "identity theft" is the "unauthorized use of personal identifying information to obtain credit, goods, services, or medical information in the name of another person." This circular advises that to minimize the amount of information an identity thief can steal, do not carry extra credit cards, a social security card, birth certificate, or passport in a wallet or purse, except when needed. To reduce the amount of personal information that is in circulation, a person should remove his/her name from the marketing lists of the three major credit reporting bureaus and remove name and address from telephone books. Mailboxes should have locks; and when new checks are ordered, they should not be sent to a home address; bills should be mailed at post offices rather than home or neighborhood mailboxes. Other recommendations are to never give out a credit card number or other personal information over the telephone unless to a trusted business; release a social security number only when absolutely necessary; do not have a social security number printed on personal checks; and order a Social Security Earnings and Benefits Statement once a year to check for fraud. Fourteen recommendations are provided for how to respond should a person become a victim of identity theft. General advice is to act quickly and assertively to minimize the damage. Specific guidance is provided regarding steps to take.