The Better Business Bureau, Waco Police, and US Merchant Payment Solutions held a seminar to help business owners and individuals learn a little about identity theft.
Adam Price, Regional Director of Better Business Bureau said the seminar was open to everyone.
"We are all a target whether we are a business or consumer. A lot of my presentation ended up being about the good old fashioned telephone or emails scams. So it's not just about fake checks or bad credit cards it can also be about frauds and scammers," Price said.
Even with technological advancements like the EMV chips added to credit and debit cards there are still many opportunities for fraud. U.S. Merchant Payment Solutions, Ken Givens, gave information on how businesses can protect not only themselves but their customers.
When business becomes vulnerable to data hacks, it leaves the door open to even bigger damage. Price said most people only focus on the larger data breaches, but "it's happens on a daily basis most folks don't hear about it unless it's large data breaches from big box companies."
Bonnie Belanger of Waco attended the seminar.
Belanger is a victim of identity fraud, and she's eager to get as much information as she can.
"Got some information and that's why we're here today to get information about fraud and it's very interesting and I would like to get a lot more information about fraud and get in the fight against it," Belanger said.
Belanger was contacted by Chase Bank fraud department because someone had opened up a platinum visa card and was trying to book a cruise using her information.
"I don't want someone out there running around with my social security number," she said. Now her information is out there and she's a little nervous. "I've got my fingers crossed just praying somebody doesn't do something bad with it or harm my family."
Experts say the process after your identity is compromised is grueling.
"The rebuilding process is long and painful from an emotional standpoint you have to make files and make sure that you follow up with each of your creditors so it doesn't happen again," Price said.
He added that with stolen identity information, it opens people up to all sorts of fraud that can take a very long time to disprove.
Sofie Martinez of Waco Police Department said as technology changes it can be hard to catch the criminals.
"Week to week month to month they could do something totally different. A few years ago it was one form of fraud this year they are dealing with a whole new kind of fraud with the credit cards and gift cards."
They say the best thing people can do is stay informed on fraud. That means being proactive on keeping data secured. Check your credit history at least once a year, and do whatever it takes to make sure personal information like your social security number does not fall in the wrong hands.
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