Identify theft on the rise in Basehor
Avoid identity theft and fraud
• Don’t disclose personal information on a web site unless the site offers a secure encrypted transaction. Over the phone, don’t give your date of birth of Social Security number to anyone unless you’re sure you know who it is.
• If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Phishing scams trick you into giving away vital information.
• Don’t hesitate to ask for a callback number, and do your research before handing over personal information.
• Don’t get careless with your personal items. Don’t carry your Social Security card with you and don’t leave credit/debit cards in your car.
Identity theft and fraud are on the rise across the country, and Basehor residents haven’t been immune to it, according to 2012 crime statistics.
“It’s one of the crimes of the future,” Police Chief Lloyd Martley said.
When reviewing the statistics each year, Martley looks for any significant increase in incidents that might be cause for concern, but overall Basehor continues to be a safe place to live.
“We’re not seeing anything that’s throwing up huge red flags,” he said.
Identity theft, fraud and forgery incidents rose from eight cases in 2011 to 17 in 2012. Most commonly, Martley said, personal information is obtained during vehicle burglaries when residents leave checkbooks, credit cards or other personal documents in their cars. Phone scams are another popular way for thieves to gain information, especially from the elderly, he said.
Battery incidents also rose sharply from seven in 2011 to 20 in 2012. The majority of those cases are domestic, Martley said.
Also remaining high on the incident list with about 20 incidents each are narcotics/paraphernalia and theft of less than $1,000.
Narcotics/ paraphernalia incidents usually involved cases in which residents had small amounts of drugs for recreational use, Martley said, and theft under $1,000 was commonly from gas drive-offs, shoplifting and theft from vehicles. Overall, vehicle burglary dropped from 19 in 2011 to nine last year.
In total, there were 139 criminal incidents in 2012, which doesn’t include traffic violations such as speeding or DUIs. Eighty-one of those incidents were cleared by arrest and/or referred to court for prosecution, and 44 remain open and inactive with no suspect. An additional 13 were filed as closed, suspect identified, victim refused to testify or charge unfounded, and one incident is open and active with a suspect identified. The overall number of incidents and outcomes is in line with 2011 statistics.
“I think Basehor is a very safe place to live,” Martley said.
With overall low crime rates and no major crimes such as murder or rape, residents should feel at ease in their community, he added, and proactive police and residents’ vigilance were to thank for keeping crime rates low.
“Citizens calling in is a huge part of keeping Basehor safe,” he said.