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Resources for Victims of Identity Theft/Cybercrime

Understanding Identity Theft

Identity theft is the nation’s fastest growing crime.  Identity thieves steal personal identification information and then use it to gain access to people’s financial resources.

Identity theft can happen online.  Today, more and more people engage in online financial activities such as shopping, banking, investing, and bill paying.  Sophisticated online identity thieves target your personal identification information.

Identity theft can happen off-line too.  Low-tech, inexperienced criminals can open credit cards and other financial accounts in your name by stealing your mail or wallet, or even rummaging through your trash. 

Preventing Identity Theft

The New York District Attorney’s Office and the Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau are committed to protecting your from identity theft.

Here are just a few simple ways to prevent identity theft from happening to you:

  •     Keep your personal information in a secure location;
  •     Shred any document containing your personal information;
  •     Protect your mail;
  •     Cancel any unused credit cards;
  •     Review your credit reports annually;
  •     Never respond to email from strangers;
  •     Never download a suspicious file or click on a hyperlink to an unfamiliar website;
  •     Never send any sensitive information over the internet unless the site is secure and the recipient is a person or organization that you fully trust;
  •     Never store financial information on your computer, especially if you own a laptop;

This brochure from our Office contains even more suggestions on protecting yourself from identity thieves.

Reporting Identity Theft

If you, or someone you know, believe they have been a victim of Identify Theft, please contact the New York County District Attorney’s Office Identity Theft Unit Hotline at 212-335-9600.  The hotline is staffed by analysts who have expertise in investigating identity theft crimes.

Identity Theft Example

 Henry started to receive phone calls from credit card companies demanding that he make payments on his overdue credit cards.  Henry was shocked since he never had a credit card or debit card.  He had never even applied for one.  Or, so he thought.

It turns out that Henry kept some important documents at his office, including his ID card, his passport, and social security card.  Henry didn’t realize that a colleague had gotten into his desk and made copies of his documents.  Armed with Henry’s address, social security number, and date of birth, his work colleague applied for and received several credit cards by filling out applications and forging Henry’s signature. 

You should always safeguard your personal identification information so you can avoid being a victim of identity theft.

Contact the Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office at 212-335-9600, if you, or someone you know, is a victim of identity theft.