Assemblymember Camara Greetings
Karim Camara

Assemblymember Camara Assemblymember
Karim Camara
nys seal

Dear Friend:

As you may know, there was a Special Election on November 8th (along with the General Election) to fill the vacant 43rd Assembly District seat. I am greatly honored that the voters elected me to represent this wonderful district. I pledge to lead with dignity, integrity and compassion and with a vision that considers the diversity of the district.

I owe a special "thank you" to all of the residents, business owners, block and tenant association presidents, civic organizations and religious leaders for your support. My staff and I are accessible and enthusiastic about serving the 43rd Assembly District.

During the holiday season, identity theft crime is a major concern. Since credit and debt card receipts and numbers, checks and computer transactions can all be used by criminals to trace and steal identities, many victims are unaware they are even at risk. I hope the enclosed information will help you to protect your privacy and take the appropriate steps if your identity is stolen. You can increase your protection with just a few simple steps offered by the NYS Attorney General’s Office and the Federal Trade Commission.

Please feel free to call us with your question or concern - or just to say "Hello."

As we prepare to enter a new year, I wish you and your family peace, health and prosperity.

Warm regards,
Karim Camara
Member of the New York State Assembly
43rd Assembly District

District Office: 231 Empire Blvd., Brooklyn, New York 11225 • (718) 756-1776
Albany Office: Room 739 LOB, Albany, New York 12248 • (518) 455-5262

What is Identity Theft?

Identity theft starts when someone steals a credit card, Social Security or driver’s license number, ATM Personal Identification Number (PIN), telephone calling card, or other piece of your identification.

Identity thieves use this illegally obtained information to illegally purchase goods or services quickly and then move on to another victim.

Usually, victims of identity theft are held liable for nothing and federal law limits loss to $50 worth of merchandise or services charged to credit card accounts.

The worst part is that victims may be left with damaged credit reports and forced to spend time, effort and money to repair this damage. While doing so, victims often have trouble getting credit, loans and even cashing checks due to the damage done to their credit.

What to do if your identity is stolen

  • Immediately contact the fraud department at each of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and Trans Union (see back panel for phone numbers) to place a fraud alert on your credit file. The fraud alert requests creditors to contact you before opening any new accounts or making any changes to your existing accounts.

  • Order copies of your credit report (see Free Annual Credit Report Available).

  • Contact creditors for any accounts that have been tampered with or opened fraudulently. Speak to their security or fraud department and send a follow-up letter. Close the fraudulent account.

  • File a report with the local police where the identity theft occurred. Obtain a copy of the police report just in case the credit card company or bank needs proof of the crime. This can also help you when dealing with creditors.

  • Take steps to ensure your mail, personal information and other data are protected.

How to prevent identity theft

  • Minimize the amount of information a thief can steal. Avoid carrying extra credit cards, your social security card, birth certificate or passport in your wallet or purse.

  • Never keep your PIN (personal identification number) on or near your ATM or credit card. Memorize these numbers and discard them.

  • Have your name removed from marketing lists of the three major credit reporting bureaus: Equifax, Experian and Trans Union.

  • Never give your credit card number or other information over the phone unless you initiated the call and trust the business.

  • On your computer, update your virus programs and use a secure browser to guard the safety of your online transactions. Don’t download files from strangers or click on hyperlinks from strangers.

  • Install a locked mailbox at your residence to help reduce mail theft.

  • Keep a list or copy of all your credit cards, their account numbers, expiration dates and the telephone numbers of customer service or fraud departments in case your cards are stolen.

  • Place passwords on your credit card, bank or phone accounts. Don’t use easily available information like your birthdate or the last four digits of your social security number for passwords.

  • Cancel unused credit cards and bank accounts.

  • Find out who has access to your personal information at work and verify that your records are kept in a secure location. Ask about the disposal procedures for those records as well.

  • Tear up, cut up or shred your charge receipts, copies of credit applications or offers, checks, bank statements and expired charge cards before throwing them out.

Free Annual Credit Reports Available

Beginning September 1st, 2005, everyone is entitled to a free credit report once a year, due to the recent enactment of the U.S. Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act. If you would like a copy of your credit report, you can call toll-free 1.877.322.8228 after September 1st.

Important Phone Numbers

***Click here for printable view.***

Consumer Fraud Bureau

Federal Trade Commission
1.877.IDTHEFT (438.4338)

Federal Deposit
Insurance Corporation (FDIC)


Federal Communications
Commission Consumer Center

1.888.CALLFCC (225.5322)

Credit Bureaus
Trans Union