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Most Commonly Reported Crimes

The most commonly reported campus crimes include property theft, harassing calls/emails and identify theft. We've outlined the nature of each crime along with ways to protect yourself.

Theft of property is the most reported campus crime. Protect yourself and your property by following basic precautions to reduce the opportunity for theft.

Reduce your risk

  • Never leave your possessions unattended. 
  • Lock your room door, even if you are only going to be gone for a moment. Most thefts occur in under a minute.
  • Avoid leaving messages on your door advertising your departure or arrival.
  • Carry only the personal information, cash and credit cards you need. Keep them secure in your wallet or purse.
  • Immediately report incidents of theft, missing property or suspicious activity to University Police.
  • Get to know your workplace and residence hall neighbors and watch out for each other.
  • Keep a record of the serial numbers of all your valuable items.
  • Never leave valuables visible in your car. Take them with you or secure them in your trunk.

Annoying or harassing phone calls, electronic messages, text messages and other forms of electronic communication are a common problem on college campuses. While the vast majority of annoying or harassing phone calls are pranks, threats of violence must be taken seriously.

What to do

Should you be the recipient of unwanted communication, here are some suggestions that you can use to deter callers from calling back and to decrease your potential for victimization.

  • In the event you receive a call from someone unknown to you, don't talk. A person making these types of calls is looking for an audience.
  • If you do receive a harassing call, note the phone number, time of call, what was said and any other characteristics of the call/caller.
  • Save harassing voicemails, text messages, emails or social media posts.
  • Immediately report any threats to the police. We will assign an officer to investigate and recommend a course of action.

The State of Illinois law prohibits harassing, threatening or obscene phone calls and electronic messages in many forms under the Harassing and Obscene Communications Act, Chapter 720 Act:135.

Identity theft occurs when personal information (like Social Security numbers) is stolen to obtain goods, services or open fraudulent accounts. Victims are left with poor credit and the complicated task of restoring it. On average, victims spend $8,000 and 600 hours on paperwork to recover and clear their name.

If your identity has been stolen, see the Federal Trade Commission’s Identity Theft website for information and guidance.

Reduce your risk

  • Be very cautious about giving personal or financial information to anyone.
  • Never provide personal identifying or financial information over the phone when you did not initiate the call. Legitimate companies and organizations do not call to "verify" account numbers or to ask for other personal information.
  • Only give out your Social Security number when absolutely necessary. Never carry your Social Security card in your purse or wallet.
  • Update your computer security software regularly.
  • Select passwords and personal identification numbers that will be difficult for someone else to figure out. For example, don't use your birth date or home address.
  • Review bank account statements and credit card bills. Immediately report discrepancies.
  • Never email personal or financial information.
  • If your credit or debit card has expired, shred it before throwing away.
  • If your ATM card has been stolen or compromised, get a new card, account number and password.

Resources

  • Check your credit report at least once a year. The three consumer credit reporting companies, ExperianTrans Union or Equifax must provide a free credit report once every 12 months.
  • Visit credit report reviews for a listing of credit reporting companies and corresponding reviews of same.
  • Visit Secure IT @ NU for more information on how to protect your identity and keep your computer safe from viruses.
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