SPECIAL REPORT: identity theft part 2 - WLTZ 38 | Columbus Georgia Regional News & Community

SPECIAL REPORT: identity theft part 2

Posted: Updated:
By: Dorothy Sherman

LEE COUNTY, AL - Last year over 11 million Americans became victims of identity theft that’s according the the U.S. Department of Justice.

“You really, really have to stay on guard, it’s your information and you should protect it at all costs,” Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones said.

Protecting your information from identity theft could save your money and credit.  To do that district manager, Craig Busby from Wells Fargo said one thing to do is to going paperless.  It could prevent criminals from obtaining your  important documents in the trash.

“First thing would be to monitor your accounts. Whethat'sthats online banking for your checking and savings relationships or number two subscribing to a credit bureau monitoring service where you are able to monitor your credit bureau and the trade lines that you have,” Busby said.

Busby said it’s important to be vigilant.  The sooner you spot something out of the ordinary potentially identity theft the sooner you can take the steps to recover after you’ve become a victim.

“First step I would take is contact your bank immediately that would be the very first step. Number two is contact the three major credit bureaus what you are able to do at that point is place a fraud alerting your credit file and that’s going to alert those folks to any sort of unusual activity," Busby said.

Close your breached accounts and reopen new ones, file a police report, and if there's any criminal or fraudulent activity coming from a business contact the federal trade commission Busby said.

Due to the rise of this crime many banks have started offering ways to protect their consumers, and consumers are buying in.  Busby said in recent years he’s notice more people buying what banks have to offer.

"It is in some ways reactive to society right, we’re seeing many more identity theft cases and folks are taking steps to do number one attempt to prevent it to begin with and secondly insure and protect themselves for future fraud issues," Busby said.


Speak with your finical institution to find how you can help prevent identity theft. 

More information on identity theft, prevention, and recovering:

http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/feature-0014-identity-theft

https://www.wellsfargo.com/financial-education/insurance-protection/preventing-identity-theft
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