Crime Prevention Alert – Protect Your Identity
Tips From Public Safety
Identity theft is a crime in which your personal information may be used by someone for personal gain, often for financial gain. Criminals can obtain information several ways including sorting through garbage, eavesdropping, stealing personal items (wallet, purse, phone), and other means. Once information is gathered they can use it for several things including to make charges on your credit card, empty bank accounts, and to apply for loans. College students are especially susceptible to “friendly fraud”, crime that is committed by people known to the victim, such as a roommate or classmate.
Take these steps to help protect your information so you don’t become a victim of identity theft:
- Secure your mail – Campus mailboxes are often easily accessed in a dorm or apartment. Have sensitive mail sent to a permanent address such as your parents’ home or invest in a secure post office box.
- Be aware of your personal surroundings when providing personal information or documents – Be on the lookout for eavesdroppers or people trying to look over your shoulder.
- Don’t share too much on social networks – Be careful what personal information you share. Remember to use privacy settings!
- Store your documents in a secure place – This includes social security cards, passports and bank and credit card statements. Shred all paper documents that contain sensitive financial information and any credit card offers that come in the mail.
- Never loan your credit or debit card to anyone – If you feel the need to pay for a friend’s meal or a tank of gas, go with them instead. Avoid co-signing for a loan or other financing. Keep all credit and debit cards in a safe place. When using them, keep it out of view of others!
- Update your computer software – Many public Wi-Fi systems can be susceptible to hackers, especially when they are not password-protected. Download updates to your antivirus and spyware software on a regular basis to keep your personal documents and information safe. Never use a shared computer workstation to pay bills or shop online.
- Review your credit and debit card statements – Look for any suspicious activity or purchases. The sooner you identify potential fraud, the sooner unauthorized charges can be refunded to you.
- Check your credit report at least once a year – Experian, Equifax and TransUnion each offer a free credit report once a year. Visit www.annualcreditreport.com, the free government-sanctioned service, to request a report and look for any suspicious activity or inaccuracies.
As a reminder, in the event of an emergency, the college may issue an alert to all subscribers of the NY-Alert system. To register for NY-Alert: Visit www.genesee.edu; log-in to Genesis; click “SUNY-NY Alert” in the left column and complete the NY-ALERT form.
For emergencies dial ext. 6500 or 9-1-1 from any campus phone
Tips on any campus crime can be reported
at 585-343-0055 ext. 6500
or anonymously at www.genesee.edu/silentwitness