Preventing Identity Theft
There are a number of things you can do to minimize the chances that you will become a victim of identity theft.
- Be very cautious about giving your personal or financial information to anyone.
- NEVER provide personal identifying or financial information over the telephone when you did not initiate the call. This includes callers selling goods and services as well as charitable solicitors. Banks, credit card companies, telephone companies and other legitimate creditors do not call to "verify" account numbers or to ask for your social security number or other personal information.
- NEVER provide personal identifying or financial information over the telephone to anyone claiming to represent a contest or sweepstakes promotion. It is illegal to market a foreign lottery in the United States. These calls are always fraudulent.
- NEVER carry your social security card in your purse or wallet.
- NEVER have your social security number printed on your checks, drivers license or other financial documents. If a bank, health care provider or other entity uses your social security number for client or account identification, call or write that company and ask that a different identification number be issued. See “Who can require my Social Security Number?” section.
- NEVER respond to e-mail or “pop-up” messages on your computer claiming some problem with a credit card, Internet, or other account. Promptly contact your real credit card company or ISP to verify that there are no problems with your account.
- Purchase a simple "cross-cut" shredder (the kind that creates confetti, not the long strips) and get in the habit of shredding all personal or financial documents you intend to discard before placing them in the trash. Shred copies of bills and invoices after you have paid them, bank statements (including your cancelled checks), investment or retirement account statements, pre-approved credit card or loan applications (especially those that come with a negotiable check attached), medical statements of any kind, and any other documents that contain information about you or your finances.
- Place password protection on all credit card accounts that
allow it. Do not use common numbers or personal information
(like birth dates or part of your social security number) or
commonly chosen words (such as a child’s, spouse’s, or pet’s
name) for passwords.
- Control access to your credit history. Remove your name from
mailing lists for pre-approved lines of credit by participating
in the credit bureaus' "Opt-Out" program. Call 1-888-5-“OPT OUT”
(1-888-567-8688) to enroll. You will need to provide your social
security number to verify that you are making the request, but
this is a legitimate use of such information.
- Be careful with your incoming and outgoing mail. If you
don't have a secure, locked mailbox, mail your bills from a
curbside public mailbox or directly at your local post office.
NEVER leave outgoing mail in an unsecured
mailbox overnight. If you are planning on being away from home
on vacation, arrange with your post office to hold your mail.
- Arrange to pick up new checks at your bank. NEVER
have boxes of new checks delivered to your home (they do not fit
in many mail slots so your postal carrier may leave them on your
- Take all credit card or ATM receipts with you after you pay
for goods or services. Do not just leave them behind or throw
them away in the nearest trashcan. Destroy them in your
cross-cut shredder when you get home.
- Write to your bank, insurance company and other financial
institutions you do business with and tell them not to share
your customer information with unaffiliated third parties. Under
federal law, they are required to honor this request.
- Remove your name from national direct mail advertising
lists. To do this, send your name and address with a written
request to: DMA Mail Preference Service, ATTN: Dept. 12059580,
Direct Marketing Association, P.O. Box 282, Carmel, NY 10512.
- To dramatically reduce telephone solicitations, sign up with
the Colorado No-Call List. You can register on-line at
or by calling 1-888-249-9097.
- You can participate in the national no-call registry by
going on-line at
www.DONOTCALL.gov or by calling toll-free at 1-888-382-1222
Reporting Identity Theft
New Driver License/ID Numbers
If you have filed a police report regarding the fraudulent use of your Colorado driver license/ID number, you may apply for a new driver license/ID number. Complete the Affidavit of Theft form (DR 2153)
, have your signature notarized, and take (DO NOT MAIL) the Affidavit of Theft form together with your police report to a FULL SERVICE driver license office. A list of all currently operating driver license offices and the services they offer are available via one of the following:
Alert On Motor Vehicle Record
If your driver license/ID number has not been used fraudulently, but because other identity theft has occurred, you may request an ALERT on your record so further fraud MAY be deterred. PLEASE BE AWARE that an ALERT may cause closer scrutiny of anyone - INCLUDING YOU - who tries to obtain a license/ID in your name or gives your identification information to law enforcement. However, we cannot guarantee that the ALERT will prevent fraudulent use of your driver license/ID. You may later request in writing that the ALERT be removed. Please provide your SPECIFIC request for the ALERT in writing and include your name, address, license/ID number (if known), date of birth, and social security number. Sign it and direct it to Motor Vehicle Investigations via one of the following:
- fax: 303-205-5634
- Mail or drop off: 1881 Piece St., Rm. 136, Lakewood, CO 80214
Report it to the
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
Identity Theft Site
via one of the following:
Notify your banks, credit card companies, and creditors
. Also notify one of the following credit reporting agencies
and they will notify the others for you:
Trans Union; 800-680-7289
You may also wish to contact the U.S. Postal Service at 800-275-8777 to request that your mail be held at your local post office for pick up, so it won't be intercepted by the individual using your identity.
Contact these major check approval companies to find out if your driver license/ID has been used to write bad checks and to place alerts on those records:
National Check Fraud Service: 843-571-2143
TeleCheck: 800-710-9898 or 800-297-0188
Certegy, Inc.: 800-437-5120
International Check Services: 800-526-5380
Here are some other phone numbers and websites to report and /or replace other lost, stolen, or fraudulently used documents:
If you have any questions, please feel free to call the Investigations Unit at 303-205-8383, send an E-mail to
InvestigationsUnit@dor.state.co.us, or visit our