Authorities urge identity protection
Published 12:23 am Monday, June 5, 2006
By By MARY-ALLISON LANCASTER- Managing editor
Lost your wallet and haven't canceled your credit cards? Thrown away credit card offers without shredding them first? These are just two ways of becoming a victim of identity theft.
Josh Bearden, assistant district attorney with the Attorney General's office, offered several tips to avoid becoming a victim and steps to take if you become a victim.
Bearden has worked with Attorney General Troy King's family protection unit for several years.
He works primarily with exploited elderly people, consumer fraud and sexually abused children, among others.
Identity theft comprises almost 40 percent of consumer complaints.
Theft isn't just occurring in larger cities but rural areas, such as Brewton.
There are common types of identity theft: Lotech, which includes someone doing an inside job, sweepstakes scams purse snatching, skimming and phishing.
One of the most abundant types of theft today is phishing.
Phishing is when someone receives an e-mail from a company stating they need updated information for billing purposes.
Most often than not, a third party is involved with the e-mail scam and stealing identities immediately.
In order to avoid being an identity theft victim, Bearden offers the following advice: