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Identity Theft

Identity theft is when a subject takes any identifier of another person and uses it for fraudulent purposes. These identifiers include: Birth dates, Social Security Numbers, Credit Card Numbers and other pieces of information that identifies a particular person. Identity theft is the largest form of fraud in the country.

Coy Reid, Sheriff
Coy Reid Sheriff
Phone: (828) 464-5241

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100 Government Drive
Newton, NC 28658

Mailing Address:
Post Office Box 385
Newton, NC 28658

Office Hours:
Mon - Fri, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

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What can be done with this information?

This stolen information is used for many purposes including…

  • Obtain and use credit cards from the victim
  • Use victims credit to purchase items through loans
  • Obtain utilities in the victims name
  • Use victims information to have a "second life"
How will you know if you are a victim?

You may be notified that you are a victim in several ways. In some cases, credit card companies will contact you for either suspicious activity on your existing accounts or saying that you have not paid a bill for a credit card you have never applied for. In other cases law enforcement may notify you saying that you are a victim. Most identity thieves have numerous victims not just one.

How can you prevent being a victim?

There are several ways that you can help prevent becoming a victim of identity theft. These include…

  • Shred all documents and mail that have your identification before throwing them away. This includes all pre-approved credit card applications, bank statements and bills.
  • Check your credit report at least annually for any suspicious activity.
  • Promptly report all lost or stolen credit cards.
  • Keep your Social Security Card in a secure location and don't carry it with you.
  • Don't give out your information over the phone to callers regardless of who they say they are.
  • Monitor your credit card statements for unauthorized activity.
  • If purchasing items on the Internet, use only secured sites. (Secured means that the transaction is protected by security software.
  • Be aware of when your bills should arrive and notify the businesses if they do not arrive. A common method of obtaining information is by mail theft.
  • Drop all outgoing mail in a secured or locked drop box instead of an open mailbox to prevent it from being stolen.
  • Notify law enforcement IMMEDIATELY if you suspect you are a victim.
What you need to do if you suspect you are a victim?

The moment you suspect that you are a victim of identity theft, you should do the following…

  • Notify your local law enforcement.
  • Get a complete credit check on yourself as well as others in your home and tell them you are a victim of identity theft.
  • Notify all of your credit card companies and other debtors of your situation so that they can assist you with maintaining your current bills.
  • Contact the Federal Trade Commission 1-877-IDTHEFT.
  • Contact your local United States Postal Inspection Service. (
  • Contact the Social Security Administration Fraud Hotline 1-800-269-0271.

How can you get your credit report?

Contact one of these three credit bureaus for your full report.