Those sentiments are the words of Michele Logan of the Anchorage Police Department’s financial crimes unit. She draws that assessment from two decades of responding in the field of identity theft and fraud.
Here are some Alaska numbers: For 2014, Alaska ranked 29th among the states for identity theft, with 73.6 reports for every 100,000 Alaskans. For “fraud and other complaints,” reports register 409 per 100,000 Alaskans.
What exactly is identity theft? Someone using your name and identifying information to steal your identity. By using your personal information, I.D. thieves can open accounts in your name, and make purchases using your good credit.
Identity theft has been the number one reported consumer fraud on the Federal Trade Commission’s website for several years. It’s gotten so bad that the federal government this week launched a new site to help victims recover.
The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) identitytheft.gov provides interactive checklist to help walk you through the difficult process step-by-step, advising you who to contact and when. It contains important phone numbers, web addresses and links to forms for reporting the crime. There are even sample letters available to print. (A Spanish-language version of the site is available by visiting robodeidentidad.gov.)
So what can you do to keep your personal information safe? What are typical scenarios that lead to trouble? What’s the difference between identity theft and fraud? How safe is your computer, where many of us archive our important personal identity information, and how can you make it safer?
And what if it isn’t your fault? What about credit card and personal information breaches like we see with Target and Premera right here in Alaska?
To get the best information, we’re joined Wednesday by APD’s Michele Logan and another local expert she highly recommends, Glen Klinkhart. Klinkhart is a former cybercop with APD and now a local information security consultant.
Has your identity been stolen? What happened and how did you resolve it? Share your story on air to help others avoid the same drama and inconvenience.
Bring your questions. Tell your own story. Learn how not to be a victim of identity theft.
HOST: Kathleen McCoy
- Michele Logan, APD financial crimes unit
- Glen Klinkhart, information security consultant
- IRS says identity thieves accesses tax transcripts for more than 100,000 taxpayers, 5/26/2015 Forbes taxgirl blog, Kelly Phillips Erb
- Identity theft tops FTC’s consumer complaint category in 2014
- Tax I.D. theft tops FTC complaints in 2014; IRS imposter complaints up more than 2,300 percent
- Alaska Department of Law ID theft and privacy help
- Online identity theft and how to prevent it (slide share)
- PayPal identity protection check list
- Call 550-8433 (Anchorage) or 1-888-353-5752 (statewide) during the live broadcast (2:00 – 3:00pm)
- Send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org before, during or after the live broadcast (e-mails may be read on air)
- Post your comment or question below (comments may be read on air)
LIVE BROADCAST: Wednesday, May 20, 2015, 2:00 – 3:00 pm (Alaska time)
REPEAT BROADCAST: Wednesday, May 20 2015, 9:00 – 10:00 pm (Alaska time)