According to the Federal Trade Commission, over 2 million consumers are victims of identity theft each year. You may know someone who's been affected by this crime or have recently been affected yourself. If you'd like to learn more on how to protect yourself, join us for Identity Theft: Protect Yourself with Steve Abel of the Abilene Better Business Bureau. The free program will be held on Tuesday, February 21 at 6:30PM at the Mockingbird Branch of the Abilene Public Library, 1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
It's unfortunate fact that in the age of online banking and credit card use, criminals have become highly skilled at stealing your identity when you least suspect it. Identity theft typically occurs when someone attempts to use your existing credit cards without authorization, when someone attempts to use an existing checking or savings account without proper authority or when someone attempts to open new financial accounts in your name without your permission. Abel can set you up with the latest strategies to help ensure this never happens to you.
In addition, your Abilene Public Library has a selection of books on this timely topic. In Protecting Your Identity Online by Ted Claypoole and Theresa Payton, a reader can learn to understand the implications of their online personas, how they may be putting themselves at risk, and how to take charge of this important new aspect of their lives for career and personal success. This book offers simple, specific steps readers can take to analyze their online image, and turn their online reputation around if needed. In addition, this book is the go-to source for protecting your online image and projecting the persona you want others to see so that you don't become a victim.
Adam Levin, a longtime consumer advocate and identity fraud expert, is your guide to this brave new world in his book Swiped. You may not be able to prevent identity theft, but you certainly shouldn't wait until it happens to take action, according to Mr. Levin. His approach is defined by the three M's: minimizing risk, monitoring your identity, and managing the damage.
Identity Theft for Dummies by Michael J. Arata Jr. is one of many titles in this trusted consumer series. Let the experts show you basic, systematic skills to help keep you safe in all aspects of consumer purchases, both online and in person.
Finding trusted information on this topic and many others is important, and your Abilene Public Library is here to help. Call the Mockingbird Branch at 325-437-7323 for more information on our free public program hosted by Steve Abel February 21 at 6:30PM. In addition, you can visit our website to place any of the books listed above on hold in our online catalog system. To report identity theft and get a plan of action, check out the federal website https://www.identitytheft.gov.
Article Contributed by Anne Ellis, Mockingbird Branch Manager