Free Adobe PDF Reader

Civil Process
Gun Permits
Criminal History
Community Services

9-1-1 Emergency


Building Locations

blank space

Choose text size: A | A | A
Bookmark and Share

blank space

Minimize Your Risk

Information for Consumers

Many steps can be taken to minimize your risk of identity theft.  One of these steps is to actively monitor your accounts and credit scores.  Once a year, you can also request a free credit report at Annual Credit Report or by calling 1-877-322-8228.

  • Photograph your information
    • Keep this information with your birth certificate and Social Security card in a secure place
  • Memorize your Social Security Number and passwords
    • Do not use your date of birth as your password
    • Do not carry passwords or PINs with you
  • Never leave transaction receipts at ATM machines, on counters at financial institutions, or at gasoline pumps
  • Do not disclose credit card or other financial account numbers on any website unless the site offers a secure transaction
    • Learn how to recognize secure websites, starting with looking for website addresses that start with "https"
      • Non-secure websites generally start with "http"
      • Secure websites generally start with "https"
      • The "s" stands for secure
    • Know your web browsers security settings and preferences
      • Most web browsers display an icon, sometimes a lock (not in the web page display area), to let users know details about the site's security
    • Read the website's privacy and security policies 
      • A privacy policy should include how your information is collected, how it’s used, and what measures the site owner(s) take to secure the information they obtain from you
  • Beware of mail, email, or telephone solicitations that offer prizes or awards; especially if you are requested to provide personal information or financial account numbers
  • Know that financial institutions will not contact you and ask for your personal information

Mail Theft and Mail Tampering

If your mail has been opened or removed from your mailbox, you may be the target of identity theft.  The same is true if you have not received your mail. 

  • Do not place outgoing mail in an unsecured mailbox
  • Place mail in a U.S. Postal Service mailbox or deliver it to a post office
  • Retrieve mail from your mailbox as soon as possible after the mail is delivered
  • Do not have boxes of checks mailed to an unsecured mailbox, if possible
    • Checks can usually be picked up at the bank
  • Know the dates when monthly bills, such as credit card statements and utility bills, are received
    • If a bill is not received, contact the company
    • Most companies have an option to receive monthly bills via email or online
  • Stop direct mail marketing from many national companies for five years by writing to: DMA Mail Preference Service, Box 643, Carmel, NY 10512
  • Closely monitor the expiration dates on your credit cards and contact the issuer if you don’t receive a replacement prior to the expiration date

Lost or Stolen Wallets, Purses, Mobile Devices (Smartphones, Tablets) or Computers/Laptops

When something is lost or stolen, it can be an unsettling experience.  Steps can be taken to prevent items from being stolen and to minimize risks of potential future crimes as a result. 

  • Do not leave wallets, purses, mobile devices, computers, or other valuables in a locked or unlocked vehicle
  • Do not leave wallets or purses unattended, including while at work, school, church, social gatherings, or at the health club
  • Lock your home and office when you’re away
  • Lock house and garage doors at night
  • Keep garage doors closed when you are not in or using the garage
  • Do not carry your social security card in your wallet or purse
  • Know the contents of your wallet or purse
  • Consider carrying only essentials in your purse or wallet
  • Keep a list of contact numbers for your bank and credit card companies handy (not in your wallet or purse) so you can contact them immediately
  • Don’t carry all of your credit cards with you when you leave home
    • Bring only what you intend to use

Stolen Wallet or Purse

If your wallet or purse is stolen:

  1. Contact your local law enforcement agency immediately to file a report
    • Criminals will make immediate purchases, oftentimes within 15 minutes
  2. Contact your banks and/or credit card companies to report your stolen card(s) and inquire about any recent purchases
    • This information can assist law enforcement in obtaining video of the transaction(s)

Stolen Mobile Devices (Smartphones, Tablets) or Laptops

Many apps (some free) are available for smartphones in the event the device becomes lost or stolen.  These apps are designed to provide the device’s location and/or delete all information from the device. 

  • If your smartphone is stolen, you may have the ability to provide law enforcement with a real-time or recent location, provided you installed and enabled the app prior to its theft
    • Do not try to confront the suspect on your own
    • App(s) must be enabled prior to the device being stolen
  • Many laptops have the option to locate the device once it is stolen via third party companies
    • This feature needs to be enabled prior to it being stolen
  • Know your laptop’s serial number

Use of Credit Cards

  • Add "Check my ID" on the signature line of new credit cards with your signature
  • Be watchful of "shoulder-surfers," criminals who stand close enough to see personal information, such as usernames and passwords or personal identification numbers
  • Keep track of credit card receipts, since account numbers and expiration dates may be listed on the receipts
    • Put the charge slips in a safe location until a statement arrives
  • Match your credit card receipts against your monthly bills and check your monthly financial statements for accuracy
  • Monitor credit accounts carefully to become aware of unauthorized purchases
  • Notify banks and credit card companies of updated addresses to prevent credit information or new credit cards being delivered to the wrong address
  • Shred any documents that you don't need anymore
    • Most banks and credit card companies offer online viewing of previous statements and account information
  • If a credit card receipt shows your entire number rather than the last 4 digits, do not leave it where other customers can view it

Dumpster Diving and Recycling

  • Shred "pre-approved" credit card applications and other documents with personal information
  • Stop "pre-approved" credit offers by calling 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688)


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

Sheriff Matt Bostrom