Experts share tips to avoid identity theft

BERLIN, Md. – Officials held an information session on Tuesday to help residents avoid identity theft, something they say happens to half of all people in the country.

According to experts, identity theft is the fastest growing crime with more than one billion dollars stolen from people every year. The most common situations for identity theft include loosing your wallet or credit cards, using websites or public WiFi that aren’t secure and of course giving up information to scammers over the phone. But officials say there’s a recipe for identity theft that is easy to recognize.

“Identifying that number one, that person is not your friend. Often times that person is trying to make a friend and with that they are also trying to create a need why they want you to give up your information and the third thing is to create urgency. If you take those three and you put them together often times people will give up information,” says Michael Lecompte, a financial and insurance counselor.

If you do think your identity was stolen, experts recommend you contact a credit bureau like Equifax and your local police department to file a report. They also suggest you get a rider on your home owners insurance which will reimburse you if you do have a large financial loss due to identity theft.

Ocean Pines is also hosting a similar seminar in April if you are interested. Click here for more information on that event.

Categories: Local News, Maryland