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Identity Theft

About Identity Theft

Identity theft involves acquiring key pieces of someone’s information, such as bank and credit card account numbers, Social Security number (SSN), or their name, address, and phone number, and using it without their knowledge to commit fraud or theft.  This information enables the identity thief to commit many types of fraud which include taking over the victim’s financial accounts, opening new bank accounts, purchasing cars, applying for loans, applying for credit cards and social security benefits, renting apartments and establishing services with local utility and phone companies.  Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America.

How Your Information May be Obtained

Your personal information may be obtained in a number of different ways.  Sometimes your information is obtained by stealing records, bribing an employee who has access to your information, or hacking into computers.  In other cases, someone may obtain your information by:

  • Rummaging through your trash, or trash outside of businesses
  • Obtaining credit reports by abusing authorized access to credit reports or by posing as someone else who may have a legal right to the information
  • Stealing your credit and debit card numbers as your card is used or processed
  • Stealing wallets and purses containing identification and credit cards
  • Stealing mail, including bank and credit card statements, pre-approved credit offers, new checks, or tax information
  • Completing a "change of address form" to divert your mail to another location
  • Stealing information from your home
  • Scamming information from you over the phone by posing as a legitimate businessperson or telling you that you’ve won a prize

More Information

To learn more about identity theft, please see:



Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office
Minnesota's First Law Enforcement Agency - Established 1849

Sheriff Matt Bostrom