Identity theft problem grows - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Identity theft problem grows

Albany -- Every week the Dougherty County Sheriff's office hears from about 25 new victims of identity theft.

Thieves are using a number of ways to steal your personal financial numbers, and clean out your bank and credit card accounts. But there are some simple things you can do to avoid becoming easy prey.

A paper shredder is one of your best defenses from identity theft. Shredding your statements and financial reports. A locking mailbox is another deterrent against low tech thieves.

More victims are being robbed over the phone. Pretending to be from your bank, thieves call and ask for your account number to check out a problem.

Sheriff's Lt. Craig Dodd said, "Your bank already knows the information on your account. If they know enough to get your name and your phone number, the people at your bank know your account numbers and everything. And they can check everything out and they'll call you into the bank for an appointment."

Most identity theft victims find out too late that they have been taken. Doing a credit check at least twice a year could save you from becoming another victim of the fastest growing crime in America.

posted byjimw@walb.com

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