Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs (DLCA) Commissioner Richard T. Evangelista reminds consumers that there are individuals posing as representatives of Publishers Clearing House (PCH) stating the consumer has won a large amount of cash. In return, the consumer must provide his/her Social Security number and driver’s license to the individual as proof of identity to collect a cash prize. If a consumer receives a similar call, hang up or simply do not respond. This is a scam.
Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in America. Crooks use clever schemes to defraud millions of people every year. They often combine new technology with old tricks to get people to send money or give out personal information. Identity thieves get your personal information by:
Stealing wallets, purses and a person’s mail (bank and credit card statements, pre-approved credit offers, new checks and tax information);
Stealing personal information a person provides to an unsecured site online, from business or personnel records at work or personal information in the person’s home;
Rummaging through an individual’s trash, the trash of businesses, or public trash dumps for personal data;
Posing by phone or email as someone who legitimately needs information about you, such as employers or landlords; or
Buying personal information from “inside” sources. For example, an identity thief may pay a store employee for information about you that appears on an application for goods, services or credit.
If a consumer suspects that he/she or someone else is a victim of identity theft, please contact local authorities and report said theft to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) online at www.IdentityTheft.gov or by phone at 1-877-438-4338. The FTC will collect the details of the reported situation. For ways on how to protect one’s self from becoming a victim of identity theft, visit www.usa.gov.