Wichitans make effort to avoid identity theft

WICHITA, Kan. — As the number of identity thefts continues to rise, experts are fighting back with ways to keep your information safe.

According to a website called identitytheft.info, there have been close to 4 million cases of identity theft since last year. With this kind of theft becoming a growing problem, organizations, law enforcement and others are trying to protect people from becoming victims.

150 people came out to get some papers shredded at Document Resources in Wichita Saturday in an effort to protect themselves.

“It’s very important because identity theft in our world today has certainly become more prevalent,” said John Farrington, Southern Region Manager at Document Resources Inc.

In an identity fraud report released at the end of 2012, it showed that 12 million people became victims which equates to one person every three seconds. Many of those cases involved people who are illegally living in the United States.

“They can’t work without certain paperwork, if you don’t have a social security number you can’t work or you have to have a work permit to work,” said Charles O’Hara an attorney at O’Hara & O’Hara.

O’Hara says in either case the implications can be severe.

“People do sometimes get arrested because people get arrested and sometimes give another name of somebody that they know or something like that, if they know the birth date,” said O’Hara.

O’Hara says getting rid of any documents with important information such as social security numbers, credit card numbers or your drivers license information is critically important.

O’Hara did however offer up some other things to be aware of.

“If you have a mailbox you should make sure it’s locked and that someone can’t get a hold of your mail. If you have checks around, old checks, you should shred those,” said O’Hara.

KSN also reached out to the Wichita Police Department to comment about identity theft and they also reiterated the importance of shredding your documents and taking whatever necessary precautions you can to protect yourself from being a victim.

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