How to Avoid Identity Theft and Scams

Stolen wallet, purse, checks or credit cards:
  • Call the police department immediately, report the crime.
  • Contact the banks and/or businesses that accepted your checks or cards to notify them of the fraud and offer to sign any affidavits of forgery as needed. Encourage the banks and businesses to pursue charges against any suspects identified.
  • Crime Prevention Tip: Make copies of EVERY card, front and back, that you carry in your wallet or purse. Keep this information locked safely at your home. This makes contacting the companies/banks much more sufficient.
  • Crime Prevention Tip: Do not have new checks mailed to you, pick them up at the bank. Do not put your D.L. # or S.S. # on your checks.
  • Contact the three credit reporting bureaus to report the loss and ask them to put a “FRAUD ALERT” on your account so no new credit will be issued without contacting you.
  • Crime Prevention Tip: It is recommended to contact these credit bureaus annually to check if there has been any unauthorized credit activity under your name. Keep all credit card receipts safe. Never give your credit card # to someone who is calling you.
Stolen Social Security Card:
  • Call the Social Security Administration Office, notify them of loss and apply for duplicate card.
  • S.S.A. Fraud Hot linee 1-800-269-0271 www.ssa.gov
  • Crime Prevention Tip: Keep your S.S. # private.
Stolen Drivers’ License:
  • Apply for a new “duplicate” license as soon as possible and “flag” your license as stolen.
  • Winona License Bureau 202 West 3rd Street Winona
  • Additional information: ww.dvs.dps.state.mn.us
  • Crime Prevention Tip: Do not put your D.L. # on your checks.
Mail Fraud:
  • U.S.P.S. Inspection Services 1-800-372-8347 www.framed.usps.com/postalinspectors
  • Local Winona Post Office 454-5268
  • Crime Prevention Tip: Shred all credit card offers you get in the mail. If stolen, someone could open a credit card account under your name.
If someone has stolen your Identity to get new credit:
  •  Call the police department and make an Identity Theft report. In Minnesota, Identity Theft becomes a crime only when any victim (person or business) suffers a monetary loss. Also call the Federal Trade Commission Identity Theft Hot line to notify them and get advice on how to proceed.
  • FTC ID Theft Hotline 1-877-438-4338 www.consumer.gov/idtheft
 Door to Door Sales:
  • If solicitors take orders to be delivered at a later date, registration with the City if Winona is required. Contact the police to verify registration, or if you suspect suspicious activity.
Other important entities and phone numbers: Fraud/Scam Referral List
  • MN Attorney Generals Office 1-800-657-3787
  • MN Charities Review Council 1-800-733-4483
  • US Better business Bureau 1-800-955-5100
  • National Fraud Information Center 1-800-867-7060
  • For Internet fraud or online fraud www.fraud.org
  • Internet Fraud Complaint Center www.ic3.gov
  • FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigations)
    Tips 1-612- 376-3200 www.fbi.govUS Secret Service www.treas.gov/usss
  • Internal Revenue Service
    Trouble Filing 1-877-777-4778
    When someone assumes your ID 1-800-829-0433
  • Medicare & Medicaid Fraud 1-800-447-8477
    http://oig.hhs.gov/hotline.html
  • Stolen Passport 1-202-647-0518
    www.travel.state.gov/passport
Stolen Checks: Call the Check Verification Services:
  • TELECHECK 1-800-710-9898
  • CHECKRITE 1-800-766-2748
  • CERTEGY, INC. 1-800-437-5120
  • CHEXSYSTEMS 1-800-428-9623
  • INTERNATIONAL CHECKSERVICESS 1-800-631-9656
  • SCAN 1-800-262-7771
Removing Name from Call Lists
  • To REMOVE a name from the majority of National Mailing Lists and Phone Lists, write to:
    MAIL PREFERENCE SERVICE
    TELEPHONE PREFERENCE SERVICE
    % DIRECT MARKETING ASSOCIATION
    P.O. BOX 9008
    FARMINGTON, NY 11735-9008
  • To REMOVE your E-Mail Address from many national direct E-Mail Lists, visit www.e-mps.org
  • To Opt-Put from having Pre-Approved Credit Offers sent to you for 2 years, call: 1-888-567-8688
  • DO NOT CALL (MN COMMERCE DEPT.) 1-800-921-4110
  • NATIONAL DO NOT CALL REGISTRY 1-888-382-1222 www.donotcall.gov