Commanding Officer, Captain Steve Vrona (617) 973-8967
The Massachusetts State Police Compliance Unit is responsible for a variety of law enforcement duties focusing on investigations of license fraud, and identity theft. These investigations can involve many different sections of government involving, state, local and federal departments. Identity theft and license fraud prevention has come to the forefront as a significant defense against terrorism in the United States. While working in conjunction with the Registry of Motor Vehicles the Compliance Unit maintains an assertive law enforcement presence over registry personnel and the community it serves.
The security of a Massachusetts driver license as a valid form of Identification is essential to the security of daily transactions and general day-to-day life for the citizens of the Commonwealth, many commercial / financial institutions and the law enforcement community. The Compliance Unit ensures that security by partnerships developed with the Registrar, many commercial institutions, state / local governments and federal agencies. Each citizen is essential to this, and can contribute greatly; by taking a proactive approach to ensuring the security of their own identity and reporting suspicious behavior of persons and or activities regarding these issues to the Compliance Unit and or the appropriate state local or federal agency. Some resources for identity theft can be found by clicking on the following links.
- Massachusetts Department of Public Safety identity theft info
- Massachusetts Attorney General Identity theft information
- Federal Trade Commission
- Free credit report
- Massachusetts's laws regarding identity theft
As a citizen of the Commonwealth it is essential each of us take a proactive approach to securing our own identities. The links above will help but each of us must be diligent and pro active in this responsibility. Please make note of the tips listed below which will assist in safeguarding your own identity.
- Protect your Social Security number.
- Fight "phishing" - don't take the bait.
Scam artists "phish" for victims by pretending to be banks, stores or government agencies. They do this over the phone, in e-mails and in the regular mail. Don't give out your personal information - unless you made the contact. Don't respond to a request to verify your account number or password. Legitimate companies do not request this kind of information in this way.
- Keep your identity from getting trashed.
Shred or tear up papers with personal information before you throw them away. Shred credit card offers and "convenience checks" that you don't use.
- Control your personal financial information.
California law requires your bank and other financial services companies to get your permission before sharing your personal financial information with outside companies. You also have the right to limit some sharing of your personal information with your companies' affiliates. For more information, see "Your Financial Privacy" (Consumer Information Sheet 2) on our
- Shield your computer from viruses and spies.
Protect your personal information on your home computer. Use strong passwords: with at least eight characters, including a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols, easy for you to remember, but difficult for others to guess. Use firewall, virus and spyware protection software that you update regularly. Steer clear of spyware. Download free software only from sites you know and trust. Don't install software without knowing what it is. Set Internet Explorer browser security to at least "medium." Don't click on links in pop-up windows or in spam e-mail.
- Click with caution.
- Check your bills and bank statements.
Open your credit card bills and bank statements right away. Check carefully for any unauthorized charges or withdrawals and report them immediately. Call if bills don't arrive on time. It may mean that someone has changed contact information to hide fraudulent charges.
- Stop pre-approved credit offers.
Stop most pre-approved credit card offers. They make a tempting target for identity thieves who steal your mail. Have your name removed from credit bureau marketing lists. Call toll-free 888-5OPTOUT (888-567-8688).
- Ask questions .
Ask questions whenever you are asked for personal information that seems inappropriate for the transaction. Ask how the information will be used and if it will be shared. Ask how it will be protected. Explain that you're concerned about identity theft. If you're not satisfied with the answers, consider going somewhere else.
- Check your credit reports - for free.
One of the best ways to protect yourself from identity theft is to monitor your credit history. You can get one free credit report every year from each of the three national credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and Trans Union. Request all three reports at once, or be your own no-cost credit-monitoring service. Just spread out your requests, ordering from a different bureau every four months. (More comprehensive monitoring services from the credit bureaus cost from $44 to over $100 per year.) Order your free annual credit reports by phone, toll-free, at 1-877-322-8228, or online at https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp.
The Compliance Unit partners with many agencies at all levels of government in order to perform its duties on a daily basis. These agencies include but are not limited to: Immigration and Naturalization Service, Social Security Administration, Drug Enforcement Agency, and the Department of Homeland Security ( Department of Homeland Security. By working collectively with these agencies, the community and individual citizens the Compliance unit continues to impact the security of the Registry of Motor Vehicles and the citizens of the Commonwealth. Most importantly the efforts of the compliance Unit make a real difference by contributing to homeland security and the safety of our nation.
For further information about the Massachusetts State Police Compliance Unit, questions regarding identity theft or where to report an issue concerning identity theft not addressed in the above resources please call (617) 973-8935.