Did you know as many as 9 million Americans will have their identities stolen each year? That's an estimate from the Federal Trade Commission and it's the reason NC Wesleyan College in Rocky Mount hosted a program Thursday to help you protect yourself.
The North Carolina Department of Justice Deputy Director Caroline Farmer was at the Rocky Mount Campus of NC Wesleyan College Thursday morning to discuss protecting yourself from scams. Farmer recommends contacting the credit bureaus and requesting a "freeze" on your social security number. That will prevent anyone from taking out lines of credit in your name without your permission. She also says phone calls and emails requesting your information should be ignored and unsolicited checks and prizes are often scams aimed at gaining access to your bank accounts. She also cautions thieves are offering fake employment opportunities, and advises you verify any person or business before giving them any personal information.
"I actually verified a job offer that I got and I Googled it and I saw like three pages worth of like people reporting like it was a scam," said Marcus Wright who attended the seminar after he almost got scammed.
"There's so many areas that you need to just stop, breathe and verify. Verify with the original agency that you can independently verify, and that will save people a lot of headache," said Farmer
You can contact the Department of Justice online, in person, or by phone if you have concerns about protecting your identity.
Congress established March as National Criminal Justice Month to promote societal awareness regarding the causes and consequences of crime, as well as strategies for preventing and responding to crime.