Identity Theft: What to do if you've given your personal information to a scammer,everyone makes a mistake once in a while, so let's assume you fell for one of the scammer's cons, and gave him your social security number, a fax of your passport, a credit card number, etc. What do you do now to prevent further damage, such as identity theft?
What should I do if I think my identity has been stolen or compromised?If you think your identity may have been stolen, here's what to do now (Note: Keep a log of all conversations with authorities and financial entities):
- File a police report. Report the crime to the police immediately. Get a copy of the report to submit to your creditors and others that may require proof of the crime. Credit card companies, your bank, and the insurance company may ask you to reference the report to verify the crime.
- Contact your bank - If you think you’re a victim of identity theft or account fraud, you should call your bank, tell them what happened and ask them to monitor for unusual activity and advice whether you should close the account and open a new checking or savings account.
- Contact the fraud departments of any one of the three major credit bureaus (outside of the US may have different agencies) to place a fraud alert on your credit file. Report the theft of your credit cards and/or numbers. Ask that your accounts be flagged. Also, add a victim’s statement to your report that requests that they contact you to verify future credit applications. The fraud alert requests creditors to contact you before opening any new accounts or making any changes to your existing accounts. As soon as the credit bureau confirms your fraud alert, the other two credit bureaus will be automatically notified to place fraud alerts, and all three credit reports will be sent to you free of charge. They will work with you to correct unauthorized transactions in your accounts and correct any incorrect reports to credit bureaus, as well as help to protect you from any future identity theft or account fraud. Also Call the fraud departments of all three credit bureaus. Ask them to put a "fraud alert" on your file. This tells creditors to call you before they open any more accounts in your name. Click on the blue link or call their phone number:
- Equifax - 1-800-525-6285
Consumer Fraud Div.
P.O. Box 105496
Atlanta, Georgia 30348-5496
- Experian - 1-888-397-3742
P.O. Box 2104
Allen, Texas 75013-2104
- Transunion - 1-800-680-7289
Fraud Victim Assistance Dept.
P.O. Box 390
Springfield, PA 19064-0390
- Immediately contact your credit card issuers. Get replacement cards with new account numbers and ask that the old account be processed as "account closed at consumer’s request" for credit record purposes. You should also follow up this telephone conversation with a letter to the credit card company that summarizes your request in writing.
- Obtain new identity documents - If you sent your passport number or faxed a copy of it to the scammers, or done the same with your driver's license or other government documents, obtain a new document - be sure to explain what happened, so they cancel your old one and give you a new number.
- If you have seen unauthorized charges: Close the accounts that you know or believe have been tampered with or opened fraudulently.
- File your complaint with the FTC. Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Click on the link at left or call the FTC’s identity theft hotline toll-free at 1 (877) IDTHEFT or (877)-438-4338. The hotline is staffed by counselors trained to help victims and take their complaints. The FTC maintains a database of identity theft cases used by law enforcement agencies for investigations. Filing a complaint also helps us learn more about identity theft and the problems victims are having so that we can better assist you.
- Complete the FTC identity theft affidavit, which will assist you in reporting to many companies that a new account has been open in your name. Use the ID Theft Affidavitwhen disputing new unauthorized accounts.
- Contact your state attorney general! to alert them to the scam or fraud activity.
- For more in-depth information on recovering from identity theft and help with specific problems, read ID Theft: When Bad Things Happen to Your Good Name.
- Stay current with new scams as the emerge, so you don't have this happen again
Compensation for victims of Violent Crime in North Carolina
Did you know that you may qualify for compensation assistance if you have been the victim of violent crime in North Carolina?
For more information on the contact: Victims Compensation Services
4232 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, N.C. 27699-4703
1-800-826-6200 (in North Carolina)
or (919) 733-7974
North Carolina Crime Victims Compensation Services
Victims Compensation Services reimburses citizens who suffer medical expenses and lost wages as a result of being an innocent victim of a crime committed in North Carolina. Victims of rape, assault, child sexual abuse, domestic violence, and drunk driving, as well as the families of homicide victims are eligible to apply for financial help.
Since 1987, Victims Compensation Services has assisted innocent victims and their families to heal from the devastating effects of criminal violence with payments for a diversity of needs, including medical care, counseling, lost wages and funerals. Like other compensation programs, North Carolina is a payer of last resort paying for financial losses not covered by other sources, including, but not limited to:
- Health Insurance
- Auto or disability insurance
- Public funds such as Medicaid
- Workers Compensation; or
- Restitution paid by an offender.
The program does NOT compensate victims for damaged or stolen property or for pain and suffering.
A maximum of $30,000 may be paid for an award for medical expenses related to treatment of injuries as a result of the crime. A maximum of $5,000 may be paid for funeral expenses when the victim dies as a result of the crime. Benefits for approved claims are paid directly to a service provider.
While no amount of money can erase the trauma and grief victims suffer, this aid can be crucial in the recovery process. By paying for care that restores victims' physical and mental health, and by replacing lost income for victims who cannot work and for families who lose a breadwinner, compensation programs are helping victims regain their lives and their financial stability.
Each year, more than 10,000 people are reported missing to the N.C. If you experience this first thing that rushes in to your mind is what should I do; who can help me? Remain calm and call your local law enforcement agency.
The following is an article found on The North Carolina’s Department of Public Safety Website. Visit this site to find more important information. https://www.ncdps.gov/Index2.cfm?a=000003,000014,000081
The N.C. Center for Missing Persons serves as the clearinghouse for information regarding missing children and adults and is charged with issuing AMBER Alerts
and Silver Alerts
. Since its creation in 1985, the Center has worked with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to locate missing persons and reunite them with their families. North Carolina is one of the few states with a clearinghouse for missing adults as well as children.
Each year, more than 10,000 people are reported missing to the N.C. Center for Missing Persons. The problems of non-custodial abductions, runaways, stranger abductions, and missing adults transcend socio-economic, racial and ethnic boundaries. Reasons for these disappearances may include problems at home, health or mental issues, snags with the law, or a taste for adventure. Most eventually return or are found by law enforcement officers and do not involve foul play. Many adults who disappear don't want to be found, or they may have other problems such as memory loss, mental illness, or a history of drug use or alcoholism.
The Center plays a key role in solving both missing children and missing adult cases by providing police and sheriff's departments with technical assistance and serving as liaison between states and various governmental agencies. The Staff at the Center for Missing Persons maintain an extensive computer database of information on the varied aspects of missing children and adults in North Carolina. The database also allows staff to cross reference descriptors to retrieve possible matches in unidentified person cases.
The Center maintains a nationwide, toll-free telephone number that is available 24 hours a day with a staff member always on call. Families or law enforcement officers needing immediate assistance can call 1-800-522-KIDS (522-5437)
- The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill is the oldest State University in the United States.
- In 1903 the Wright Brothers made the first successful powered flight by man at Kill Devil Hill near Kitty Hawk. The Wright Memorial at Kitty Hawks now commemorates their achievement.
- High Point is known as the Furniture Capital of the World.
- Know as "Fish Town" in the early 1700's when Blackbeard frequented the coast, "Beaufort Town" was established as a seaport with the right to collect customs, in 1722.
- The Outer Banks of NC hosts some of the most beautiful beaches in the country.
- Whitewater Falls in Transylvania County is the highest waterfall in the eastern United States.
- Cape Hatteras is the largest lighthouse ever to be moved due to erosion problems.
- The University of North Carolina's mascot, the Tarheels, is a nickname for North Carolinians that supposedly came from the days when NC produced a lot of tar, and someone saw a set of footprints made by someone who had stepped in the tar.
- Charles Karault was born and raised in Wilmington.
- Havelock is home of Marine Base "Cherry Point." It is the largest air base in the Marine Corps.
- North Carolina is the largest producer of sweet potatoes in the nation. Students at a Wilson County school petitioned the North Carolina General Assembly for the establishment of the sweet potato as the official state vegetable.
- Harker's Island hosts the annual Core Sound Decoy Festival in December.
- Morehead City is home to the North Carolina Seafood Festival, held the first weekend in October every year.
- The World War II battleship 'North Carolina' is permanently berthed on the Cape Fear River at Wilmington. She was saved from the scrap heap in the 1960's by public subscription, including donations of dimes by schoolchildren.
- The first English colony in America was located on Roanoke Island. Walter Raleigh founded it. The colony mysteriously vanished with no trace except for the word "Croatoan" scrawled on a nearby tree.
- Mount Mitchell in the Blue Ridge Mountains is the highest peak east of the Mississippi. It towers 6,684 feet above sea level.
- Krispy Kreme Doughnut was founded in Winston-Salem.
- The Venus Fly-Trap is native to Hampstead.
- The first miniature golf course was built in Fayetteville.
- Babe Ruth hit his first home run in Fayetteville on March 7, 1914.
- Winston-Salem was created when the two towns Winston and Salem combined.
- The Biltmore Estate in Ashville is America's largest home, and includes a 255-room chateau, an award-winning winery and extensive gardens.
- The first English child born in America was born in Roanoke in 1587. Her name was Virginia Dare.
- The Lost Colony Outdoor Drama in Albemarle commemorates the birth of Virginia Dare. Scheduled to run just one year, it proved so successful that it has played for nearly sixty consecutive summers.
- The first state owned art museum in the country is located in Raleigh.
- Fontana Dam is the tallest dam in the Eastern United States, at 480 feet high.
- Many people believe that North Carolina was the first state to declare independence from England with the Mecklenburg Declaration of 1775.
- Grandfather Mountain, highest peak in the Blue Ridge, is the only private park in the world designated by the United Nations as an International Biosphere Reserve.
- The Mile-High Swinging Bridge near Linville is 5,305 feet above sea level. The bridge actually hangs about 80 feet above the ground.
- Pepsi was invented and first served in New Bern in 1898.
- Beech Mountain is Eastern America's highest town at 5,506ft above sea level.
- Andrew Jackson, seventh President of the United States, was born in the Waxsaws area on the border of North and South Carolina.
- Arnold Palmer recognized as the player whose aggressive play and winning personality raised golf to national attention, honed his skills on the championship golf team of Wake Forest University.
- James K. Polk, born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, was the eleventh President of the United States.
- Hiram Rhoades Revels, born in Fayetteville in 1822, was the first African-American member of the United States Congress.
- Andrew Johnson started his career as a tailor's apprentice in Raleigh, North Carolina and rose to lead in the reuniting of the nation as the seventeenth President of the United States.
- North Carolina leads the nation in furniture, tobacco, brick, and textile production.
- Saluda, North Carolina is located at the top of the Saluda Grade. The crest of the steepest standard gauge mainline railroad in the United States.
- State Motto: Esse quam videri (To be rather than to seem)
- The town of Wendell town was named for the American writer, Oliver Wendell Holmes.
- The Swiss and German settlement of New Bern was named in honor of the founder's home, Bern, Switzerland. When Bern, Switzerland was founded, it was named by a group of hunters. They named the city for the first animal they came upon on their hunting expedition. It was a bear. "Bern" is the old Germanic word for Bear, and the bear became the symbol of the city. It has been adopted by New Bern, as well.
- North Carolina was the first state in the nation to establish a state museum of art.
- North Carolina was one of the first states in the U.S. to establish a state symphony. The North Carolina Symphony, founded in 1943, currently performs nearly 185 full-orchestra concerts each year.
- North Carolina has the largest state-maintained highway system in the United States. The state's highway system currently has 77,400 miles of roads
- The General Assembly of 1987 adopted milk as the official state beverage.
- The oldest town in the state is Bath, incorporated in 1705.
- Located in northeastern North Carolina on the Albemarle-Pamlico peninsula, Columbia is on the eastern shore of the Scuppernong River. The Indians called the area "the place of the sweet bay tree."
- Babe Ruth hit his first professional home run in Fayetteville on March 7, 1914.
- White Lake near Elizabethtown is very unique in that it has a white sandy bottom and is blessed with crystal clear waters. It has also been labeled as the "Nation's Safest Beach." It is truly a child's paradise in that there are no currents, no tides, no hazardous depressions or real dangers of any kind to swimmers.
- North Carolina has 1,500 lakes of 10 acres or more in size and 37,000 miles of fresh water streams.
If you are arrested the very first thing you should do is remain calm. The following article is some very good advice that I found on a site called Free Advice.
There are several things you should do if you are arrested, and also, there are things you should not do. First, do not speak to a law enforcement officer without having spoken to your attorney, and also, ask for an attorney immediately. Never waive your right to remain silent.
After an Arrest
After you have been arrested, concentrate on protecting your rights. You have the right not to make statements that incriminate yourself. Only your attorney can give you trustworthy advice about whether your statements could incriminate you. A prosecutor does not have an obligation to tell you how your statements could be interpreted. You have the right to speak to an attorney. If you want the assistance of an attorney following your arrest, clearly state that you want to talk to one.
Explain that you will not provide any information to law enforcement officers until you have spoken to your attorney. When you are allowed to make a phone call, call an attorney or someone who will send an attorney to speak to you. You may believe that someone is in danger and you need to tell law enforcement officers to save the person's life. Provide the officers with only relevant information.
Search Incident to Arrest
Typically, after a lawful arrest, law enforcement officers have the right to conduct a limited police search of your person and property. They can conduct this search without a warrant. Such a search is called a search incident to arrest. The purpose of the police search is to ensure the officers' safety. It is also to determine whether you have any contraband material on your person or property. Avoid physically resisting a reasonable search of your person or property. If you believe the police search is unreasonable or illegal, verbally object to the search.
Pay careful attention to how the search is being conducted. Look at what officers recover. Look at the current state of the item. If the search turns up an item that could incriminate you, do not attempt to explain its presence. Being arrested puts you at risk of being charged with a crime that you did not commit. The most important thing you can do is avoid making statements or providing evidence that suggests you committed an offense. Focus on remaining calm, silent, and physically compliant during the police search and the arrest, but be prepared to speak to your attorney when the time comes.
Jail and Booking
Once you get to the jail and enter the book-in process, try to make arrangements for bond and for an attorney. Many jails will post lists of approved bondsmen. You will also be allowed to make phone calls to arrange for representation. If possible, make bond and then start looking for an attorney immediately. Many people bond out, don’t hear anything about their case for a while, and then don't start looking for an attorney until several months later - usually after they've received a court summons. But you should try to have an attorney by your first court date, as nothing aggravates a judge more than delays. Further, the sooner you have representation, the sooner s/he can take the necessary steps to preserve evidence and formulate your defense.
Thousands of people are arrested every day with minimal issues. If you remain calm, you can prevent multiple additional charges from being successfully filed against you. If you are concerned that officers violated your rights during your arrest, tell your attorney so that your attorney is fully aware of the circumstances of the arrest. Sometimes, evidence may be excluded or whole cases may even be dismissed based on violations of the constitutional rights of the accused before, during, or subsequent to an arrest.