Identity Thieves Prowl Wyoming [AUDIO]
According to the Federal Trade Commission's Consumer Sentinel Network, identity theft is on the rise in Wyoming. Identity theft in Wyoming:
"For those people that did file a complaint this year and are residents of Wyoming, there was an actual 8 percent increase in the number of complaints that were filed in 2010 over the previous year."
Tami Nealy, Senior Director of Corporate Communications for Lifelock, says the Trade Commission's numbers only represent the voluntary reporting to the FTC, which not every victim does, and government agencies and companies that handle fraud complaints don't report up either, so the true numbers are not tallied.
Where Wyoming ranks nationally in identity theft.
Type of identity theft in Wyoming:
"It's 35th in the nation for identity theft complaints that have been filed. And unfortunately, the types of identity theft complaints that are filed most heavily in Wyoming are related to credit card fraud, so someone going out there and opening up a credit card in your name, using your name, your Social Security number, your date of birth, posing as you. That, unfortunately, is the most common complaint within the state of Wyoming."
Some of the advice Ms. Nealy offered was don't give out your Social Security number on routine forms.
"So many places just have it on the form and we're so used to just moving quickly and filling that out, so let's stop and ask the question, if I don't give it to you here. I refuse to write it down every single time because it's one more piece of paper that has a potential to get lost or recycle without being shredded, you know, all of that, so I don't write it all out each and every time."
Another place to be frugal with personal information is on social networking sites. Nealy suggests people not include their birth year, or hometown, home address, phone number or personal e-mail. She says the people who really know you will know such things, and once it's on the Internet, it's out there forever.
Lifelock is an Arizona Company that protects people from identity theft.