Identity Theft, Don’t be a victim

More and more our office encounters citizens who have become a victim of identity theft.  We want this year and into the next to become identity theft free so here is some information that we think you will find useful and help prevent you from being the next victim.

Identity theft is the crime of misusing someone’s personal information to fraudulently set up bank accounts and credit facilities without that person’s knowledge. Someone else pretends to be you to obtain credit, take out a loan, open an account, set up services or obtain identification.

Identity thieves can obtain your personal information in several ways:

  • “Dumpster diving” – going through your trash looking for information
  • Stealing your mail
  • Stealing your wallet or purse
  • “Skimming” your debit or credit card numbers – stealing through a data storage device like an ATM or actual transaction
  • “Phishing” – sending an email or calling on the telephone falsely claiming to be a legitimate company, agency, bank or organization in order to entice potential victims to divulge personal information
  • Obtaining your credit report – posing as an employer or landlord
  • “Business record theft” – stealing hard files, hacking into electronic files or bribing an employee for access to files
  • Diverting your mail to another location – filling out a “change of address” form
  • “Pharming” – rerouting you to a copycat website when you type in a legitimate bank or e-commerce website in order to obtain your personal information

Most people discover their identifying information has been stolen when they apply for credit, such as a loan or credit card, and get denied. Some discover charges on their credit card or debit card they don’t remember making. Other red flags may be your credit card bills or other mail stops coming, you find something incorrect on your credit report, a debt collector calls about a debt you don’t owe and didn’t know about or you are wrongly accused of a crime.

There are several things you can do to prevent having your identity stolen:

Contact Us

You also can email (consumer@ago.mo.gov) the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division if you have questions.

  • Use a paper shredder to destroy financial documents or other documents with personal information
  • Don’t carry your social security card with you or write it on a check. Place the card in a safe place, only give it out when absolutely necessary and ask to use another identifier for accounts
  • Change your passwords every 60 days and make them “strong” (more difficult to “crack”) by using a combination of uppercase, lower case, numbers and symbols. Avoid using your birthdate, mother’s maiden name, last four digits of your social security number or other obvious identifying words or numbers
  • Order a free copy of your credit report from each of the three credit bureaus each year: Experian, Transunion and Equifax. It contains information about what credit accounts have been opened in your name, as well as where you live and work, how you pay your bills, if you’ve been sued, arrested or filed for bankruptcy. You are entitled to one free report each year from each of the three major bureaus
  • Watch your billing cycles closely. If a bill is late, check with your creditors to see why it has not arrived; and watch for any unauthorized charges or unexpected account statements
  • Have your mail sent to a post office box or get a locking mailbox. Also take outgoing mail to the post office
  • Only use a secure connection on the internet when sending credit card numbers or other personal information. The cite should begin with “https” with “s” meaning “secure”
  • Use virus protection and a firewall program to prevent your computer from being accessed by others, and keep them up to date. Don’t download files or click on links from unknown sources; instead type in a web address you know. Also, unplug your Internet when you’re not using it
  • Keep your personal information in a secure place at home, especially if you have roommates, employ outside help or are having work done at your house
  • Opt out of pre-approved credit card offers and receive fewer solicitations at home by calling 888-567-8688 or visiting www.optoutprescreen.com

If you believe you are a victim of identity theft, here are the steps initially you should follow;

Contact your banking institutions and credit card companies, inform them that you believe your identity has been compromised.

Print these two forms   1. Identity Theft Incident Report  &  2.  Identity Theft Complaint Form

Go to Annual Credit Report Website and print your credit reports

Bring all the above listed forms with you to the Police Department to file the report.

The Police Officer will provide you with additional information from there.

The most important thing to remember is that “if it sounds too good to be true, most likely it is too good to be true”.

Also check FTC for more info and resources…

City Clerk and faithful employee of 47 years says Farewell

Arlene Burt, City Clerk for the City of De Soto and faithful employee for more than 47 years is saying farewell to the City of De Soto and Hello to retirement.  You will be missed, enjoy!!

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June 30, 2014 is Arlene’s last day before she begins her new journey into retirement.  Congrats Arlene on your retirement and hears to many more. Taking Arlene’s place as the City Clerk is Ann Baker. Photos taken by Ted Howell

De Soto Farmers Market & Get Healthy De Soto

Get Healthy DeSoto Inc. is a nonprofit organization, established in 2004. Our mission is, “to make a long-lasting positive impact on the health and safety of our community by encouraging healthy lifestyle choices, through programs promoting physical activity, healthy nutrition, weight control and disease and injury prevention.”

This has been our mission from the start and as we see it in motion…we remain steadfast in its worth to our community…read more

Trailnet

In the Spring of 2010, Trailnet partnered with De Soto to develop a plan to improve conditions for walking and bicycling in and around the city. The De Soto Bikeable Walkable Community Plan will provide a blueprint for the development of bicycle and pedestrian improvements throughout the city, making it safer and easier to reach local destinations, including parks, schools, and commercial areas. For more information visit;

Get Healthy De Soto

Missouri Complete Streets Information Center

Governor Jay Nixon, De Soto Native

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon

A native of De Soto, Missouri, Jay Nixon was raised in a family of public servants. His mother, the late Betty Nixon, was a teacher and served as president of the local school board. His father, Jerry Nixon, was elected mayor of De Soto and was a judge for the community.

Growing up in a home with these strong examples, Nixon learned at a young age that faith and family come first – and giving back to the community comes next. It is a philosophy that has guided him throughout his career in public service.

After earning both his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Missouri-Columbia, Nixon returned to DeSoto to practice as an attorney. In 1986, he was elected to his first term in the Missouri State Senate, where he would represent the people of Jefferson County for six years. As a State Senator, Nixon reached across the aisle to pass several major pieces of legislation, including an expansion of pre-natal care for expectant mothers.

Governor Nixon and his wife, Georganne Wheeler Nixon, have two sons, Jeremiah and Willson. They belong to the First United Methodist Church in Jefferson City. read more