FBI Presents at Identity Theft Workshop Hosted by Congressman Steve Israel
|FBI New York April 15, 2010|
On Monday, April 12, Acting Special Agent in Charge (A/SAC) Amy Pickett and Acting Assistant Special Agent in Charge (A/ASAC) Austin Berglas of the Special Operations Division spoke to attendees of an Identity Theft Workshop hosted by Congressman Steve Israel at Bethpage Federal Credit Union in Central Islip, NY.
The educational event featured representatives and information from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, and Social Security Administration. Speakers informed attendees on how to decrease the chance of identity theft and offered solutions for victims of potential identity theft.
As discussed during Monday’s workshop, some tips to prevent identity theft are:
- Do your homework. Verify that a business or website is legitimate.
- Check to make sure websites are secure.
- Attempt to obtain a physical address, rather than a P.O. Box or mail drop.
- Shred your financial trash. Never throw away credit card or bank statements in usable form.
- Be aware of missed bills which could indicate your account has been taken over.
- Be cautious of scams requiring you to provide your personal information.
- Never give your credit card number over the phone unless you called them.
- Monitor your credit statements monthly for any fraudulent activity.
- Report unauthorized transactions to your bank or credit card company as soon as possible.
Don’t forget to review a copy of your credit report at least once a year. You may receive one free annual credit report by law. The Fair Credit Reporting Act guarantees you access to your credit report for free from each of the three nationwide credit reporting companies—Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion—every 12 months. To be most diligent, you can check your credit report every four months by using each of the different accredited reporting companies once a year.
A/ASAC Berglas said, “While it is hard to get by these days without doing things online, take the time to make sure a site is legitimate. Above all, remember that no legitimate financial institution or government organization will ever ask you for personal information by e-mail. The simple answer to protecting your identity is when you doubt the legitimacy of any e-mail you receive, don’t supply personal information or click on the links provided.”
To protect yourself and your family from various forms of Internet fraud please visit:
For additional Internet Crime Prevention Tips please visit:
Visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website for information on obtaining your free annual credit report:
*****Sign up for FBI e-mail alerts at www.fbi.gov by clicking on the red envelopes.*****
Follow the FBI on Twitter@ FBIPressOffice