Protect Yourself

Identity Theft/Credit Card Protection

Identity Theft Protection

The following tips can be used to prevent identity theft from happening to you.

  • Do not give out personal information over the phone, through the mail, or over the internet, unless you have initiated the contact.
  • Shred all documents, including pre-approved credit applications received in your name, insurance forms, and statements.
  • Do not use your mother's maiden name, birth date, the last four digits of your social security number, or any series of numbers as passwords.
  • Minimize the identification information and the number of credit cards you carry.
  • Do not carry your social security card, birth certificate, or passport, unless necessary.
  • When expecting a new credit card through the mail, make sure you get the card(s) within the appropriate time.
  • Do not put your credit card number on the internet unless it is encrypted using a secured site.
  • Order a copy of your credit report twice a year.

Credit/ATM-Debit Card Protection

When using a credit card to make purchases make sure that you have been given back your card once the transaction has been completed.

  • With your credit card slip being filled out, making sure that your card is not passed through the charge machine more than once.
  • Destroy all out-of-date cards. Either shred them or use scissors to cut them up into several small pieces.
  • Destroy all carbon copies from your credit card purchases. Do no simply throw them in the garage.
  • Make a list of your credit cards, atm/debit cards, their account numbers, expiration dates, and phone numbers to call if they are lost or stolen. Keep this list separate from your purse/wallet.
  • Periodically take inventory of your cards to make sure you have them all.
  • Notify your bank or credit card institution as soon as you notice that your card has been lost, stolen or misplaced.

Common Scams

The following tips will help in preventing your being the victim of a scam:

  • Government agencies such as Social Security, IRS, Medicare and the Immigration Service do not call you to discuss your account status - It is a scam
  • Law Enforcement agencies will never call for money to prevent your arrest, or
  • satisfy a criminal judgement - It is a scam
  • No caller from any government agency will threaten action or demand money from you - It is a scam
  • Any caller that threatens action and demands money by gift card or wiring money - It is a scam
  • Scams targeting international students typically know about immigration status and the school attended and the threatening action is deportation – It is a scam
  • Do not purchase gift cards or wire money for any caller - It is a scam
  • Never provide bank account or credit card information to any caller threatening action - It is a scam
  • If you believe a caller is attempting a scam, disconnect, make note of the calling number and call a trusted friend or CPSO for advice

Telephone Harassment

The Campus Public Safety Office wants you to know that using the telephone to make obscene, threatening, or harassing calls to another person is against the law.

The law (ORS 166.090) addresses the crime of telephone harassment. Telephone harassment occurs when the caller intentionally harasses or annoys another person by ringing the person's telephone while having no communicative purpose or, after having been told not to do so, continues to call the receiving telephone.

In other words, the first call may not always constitute telephone harassment. Subsequent calls are telephone harassment if the caller has been forbidden to make the calls. All calls of an inappropriate nature should be reported immediately.

Threatening phone calls are addressed under a different statute (ORS 166.065). In this case you do not have to receive further phone calls before you can report it as a crime to the Campus Public Safety Office.


  • Obscene: such calls can be considered harassing phone calls under the telephone harassment statute.
  • Harassing: hang-up calls or annoyance calls.
  • Threatening: Involve threats of bodily harm, kidnapping, property damage, etc.

What to Do:

  • Always attempt to inform the caller he/she is not to call you again
  • If no one answers you after you have said hello twice, or if the caller says something inappropriate, tell the caller he/she is not to call again, then hang up.
  • Never give any information unless you are absolutely certain you know to whom you are speaking.
  • If you are alone, do not reveal that fact to the caller.
  • Instruct any children to never give any information to strangers over the phone.

For all complaints of inappropriate telephone use or telephone harassment here on campus or at on-campus housing, we request the complainant contact us for action.

Complainants will be afforded the following options:

  • Immediate change in service number
  • Assist in an investigative effort