Identity Theft A Growing Problem But Can Be Avoided - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Identity Theft A Growing Problem But Can Be Avoided

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     Every 79 seconds an identity is stolen, often because of improper disposal of confidential documents. On Friday, there's a secure shred event at the KWQC studios at 805 Brady Street in Davenport. It's one good way to combat what some experts call a growing problem.
    Identity theft is on the rise, it's not going away, and we're all at risk. With more information being accessible over the Internet, the options are greater for identity thieves nowadays. But it's not just hackers to worry about.
    "I think it is a growing problem. It used to be a lot of identity theft was within your family. In other words you didn't really have to worry about the dumpster divers if you will," said Terri Overton, Office Manager at Consumer Credit of the Quad Cities.
     In many cases identity theft is a crime of opportunity. That means taking care of what you throw out with the trash has to be priority.
     "Don't throw your credit card statements in the trash, don't throw your old credit cards in the trash, shred them," added Overton.
     Cintas provides that service to area businesses, helping to securely destroy confidential material.
     "Anything from personal financial reports, check stubs, tax forms, anything personal of confidential they want to destroy," said Lindsey Hanna, a Cintas Sales Representative. 
     Even if you do take steps like this  experts say it's important to regularly monitor your accounts for anything unusual. One thing you can do if you think you're the victim of identity theft is put a fraud alert out on your credit report. That alerts lenders in case someone applies for credit in your name.
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