For Immediate Release
Press Contact: Mary Kusmiss, Public Information Officer, (510) 981-5780

COMMUNITY CRIME ALERT INCREASE IN CREDIT CARD FRAUD

Berkeley, California (Friday, April 30, 2010) - In recent months, the City of Berkeley Police Department (BPD) has seen a spike in identity theft and credit card fraud.  These cases may originate in the City of Berkeley, but personal and credit card information is usually used by a larger national and international network of criminals.

After community members’ credit and bank accounts are compromised, suspects often use them at large retailers across the United States, with a high concentration in Texas, Louisiana, Michigan and Georgia.

BPD is investigating these cases and has some indications that they may be part of a larger data breach. Ultimately, BPD cannot confirm where the compromises originate.

 In light of these reports, BPD suggests the community employ these crime prevention measures and take the listed action right away if they become victims of identity theft and credit card fraud.

Fraud Prevention Tips:

  • Regularly check your bank statements and credit card bills and look for
         fraudulent charges.
  • If you shop over the internet, use reputable retailers.
  • Do not give personal information to anyone over the telephone or internet
         unless you know who you are talking to.

If You Become a Victim of Fraud:

  • Report the issue to your bank/credit card company.
  • When You Talk to your bank/or credit card company, keep a detailed log
         of who you talk to and what was discussed.
  • Make a police report in the city or town where you reside.

The community is encouraged to visit the BPD website for a copy of a publication titled Take Charge: Fighting Back Against Identity Theft, published by the Federal Trade Commission, or go to the FTC website at WWW.FTC.GOV for more information.

Berkeley Police Homepage 

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