Crime prevention programs on personal safety and theft prevention are sponsored by various campus organizations throughout the year. The Campus Public Safety Department facilitates programs for students and parents, and new student orientations by providing a variety of educational strategies and tips on how to protect themselves from sexual assault, theft and other crimes. Rape Aggression Defense System (RAD) training is offered to students each year via a one credit course. It is a comprehensive course that begins with awareness, prevention, risk reduction and avoidance, while progressing on to the basics of hands-on defense training. Certified RAD instructors teach the course.
A common theme of all awareness and crime prevention programs is to encourage students and employees to be aware of their responsibility for their own security and the security of others.
Identity Theft has become one of America’s fastest growing crimes. All an identity thief needs is your Social Security number, driver’s license number or credit card number to steal your identity. Here are a few key ways to keep your identity safe.
- Only release your Social Security number (SSN) when it is absolutely necessary, do not have your SSN printed on your checks or on your license. Order your Social Security Earnings and Benefits Statement once a year to check for fraud by calling (800) 772-1213. If your SSN has been fraudulently used, report it to the Social Security Hotline at (800) 269-0217.
- Reduce the number of credit cards used and cancel unused accounts. If a fraudulent charge appears on one of your accounts, report it to the Consumer Credit Counseling Service at (800) 388-2227. Always shred pre-approved credit applications, credit receipts, bills and any other financial information before throwing it away in the trash.
- Consider removing your name from marketing lists; this will reduce the number of pre-approved credit card applications that are received in the mail.
- Check your credit report once a year for inaccuracies and fraudulent use of your accounts. The easiest way to do this is AnnualCreditReport.com. This website has links to all three credit bureaus. You can also send a written letter of request for your credit report to each credit bureau. If you choose to send a written letter, you must also supply the company with proof of identity and address (for example a copy of your telephone bill or driver’s license.)
o Equifax Credit Reporting Bureau , P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374. To obtain your credit report, call (800) 685-1111 and to remove your name from marketing lists, call (800) 567-8688.
o Experian Credit Reporting Bureau , P.O. Box 9530, Allen, TX 75013. To obtain your credit report, call (888) 397-3742 and to remove your name from marketing lists, call (800) 353-0809.
o Trans Union , P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92634. To obtain your credit report, call (800) 916-8800 and to remove your name from marketing lists, call (800) 680-7293.
· If an error is found or to dispute any information in your credit report, you must contact all three credit bureaus. Always keep a copy of your correspondence in case the information reappears on your report. Be sure that all correspondence is sent by certified mail and a return receipt is requested.
- If your credit card is stolen or you are a victim of identity fraud, immediately contact all three credit bureaus and tell them to place a “security alert” on your file.
The problem of Identity is likely to continue to increase. Your personal privacy and identity are vital. A good website for additional information is www.privacyrights.org.