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Identity Theft Growing in Miss.

By Paul Boger | Published 26 Aug 2013 11:45am | comments
Photo credit: Some rights reserved by Don Hankins (Flickr)

Students at the University of Mississippi Medical Center are receiving one year of free Identity theft protection after someone sent an email containing their Social Security numbers and personal information.

Identity thieves are out there, and their numbers are growing. According to a report issued by the Federal Trade Commission, in 2001 -- there were a little more than 82,000 reported cases of identity theft in the U.S. Last year, that number grew to more than 369,000.

 It's also the fastest growing form of fraud in Mississippi. So, how can Mississippians protect themselves from identity theft?

 Steven Toporoff is a attorney with the F.T.C. He specializes in privacy and identify protection. He says the best thing people can do, is stay vigilant.

 "The best step is to make sure that you're diligent about reviewing your credit history. You will see if anything is amiss. If addresses have been changes, for example. If there are uncollected debts, and accounts that have been opened." said Toporoff.

 Toporoff also suggest Mississippians comb over their bank and credit card statements, and be wary of phone calls asking for personal information.

 Patrick Beasley is the Director of Consumer Protection for Mississippi Attorney General's office. He says Mississippians who are victims of identity theft should alert law enforcement immediately.

 “Contact your police department, and fill out a police report. Next thing you should do, is contact your credit bureau. Contact the fraud alert center, and let them know that you think you may be the victim of identity theft. Third thing we'd ask you to do is contact our office, and fill out a identity theft affidavit. Then we can basically figure out who stole your identity. said Beasley.

 According to officials, somebody's identity is stolen every three minutes.

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Photo credit: Some rights reserved by Don Hankins (Flickr)


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