Chelsea Police are notifying residents of a new scam where an automated voice claiming to be from the Sovereign Bank is asking Chelsea residents for personal information, including; social security, bank account and credit card numbers.
“For your security, the Chelsea Police encourage you to be especially aware of email, telephone and postal mail scams that ask for personal or sensitive information,” said Chelsea Chief of Police Brian Kyes. “Never provide in any way sensitive personal information unless you first validate and verify the person or company requesting it.”
Under Massachusetts law, residents have the right to obtain any police report if they feel they are the victim of identity theft.
“You also have the right to file a police report and obtain a copy of it,” said Kyes.
Massachusetts law also allows consumers to place a security freeze on their credit reports. A security freeze prohibits a credit reporting agency from releasing any information from a consumer’s credit report without written authorization.
However, placing a security freeze on your credit report may delay, interfere with, or prevent the timely approval of any requests you make for new loans, credit mortgages, employment, housing or other services.
“If you have been a victim of identity theft, and you provide the credit reporting agency with a valid police report, it cannot charge you to place, lift or remove a security freeze,” said Kyes. “In all other cases, a credit reporting agency may charge you up to $5.00 each to place, temporarily lift, or permanently remove a security freeze.”
To place a security freeze on your credit report, you must send a written request to each of the three major consumer reporting agencies: Equifax (www.equifax.com); Experian (www.experian.com); and TransUnion (www.transunion.com) by regular, certified or overnight to the address posted in their websites.
Chelsea residents are reminded they can provide information anonymously to the Police Department by calling the 24 hr Crime Stoppers TIP line at 617-466-4880 or texting the word Chelsea and then their message to tip411 (847411) from their cell phone. Anonymous web tips can also be submitted right from the Police Departments website at www.chelseapolice.com.