Harrisburg – Senator Bob Mensch (R- Montgomery, Bucks, Berks) hosted a seminar on avoiding scams and identity theft at the Quakertown Branch, Bucks County Free Library on October 2, 2014. The event featured Katrina Boyer, Consumer Outreach Liaison, from the PA Department of Banking and Securities.
After opening remarks were made by Mensch, Boyer discussed identity theft, how it happens, how constituent can protect themselves from it, what to do if targeted by scammers, and popular scams. Boyer discussed skimming, a practice that includes the illegal copying of information from the magnetic strip of a credit or ATM card, notorious scams, how to identify phishing emails, and more. She also explained that consumers can best protect themselves by guarding their social security number and personal information, reviewing financial statements regularly, checking credit reports, registering with the PA and National Do Not Call Registries, opting out of solicitations, and questioning “opportunities”.
Boyer pointed out that free credit reports can be obtained by calling 877-322-8228 or by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com. When reviewing credit reports, Boyer reminded constituents to check the accuracy of names and addresses, look for false accounts, and verify all credit limits/balances. Constituents can also remove themselves from pre-approved offerings for credit by visiting www.optoutprescreen.com or by calling 1-888-567-8688.
Constituents can register their phone numbers with the PA Do Not Call Registry by visiting https://www.attorneygeneral.gov/protect-yourself/do-not-call-list/ or calling 1-888-777-3406 and the National Do Not Call Registry by visiting www.donotcall.gov or calling 1-888-382-1222.
“I would like to thank Katrina for taking the time to help us understand how to protect our identity and our assets,” said Mensch. “It was a very educational seminar and I encourage constituents to follow the measures she shared with us.” PA consumers become victims of financial scams or identity theft on a daily basis. If someone is a victim of a scam or id theft, they can file a police report, call the three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, Transunion), close any accounts that have been opened or tampered with, contact the Federal Trade Commission (1-877-438-4338 or www.ftc.gov/idtheft), contact the PA Attorney General’s office, and talk to someone you trust.
State Resources for Constituents:
PA Department of Banking and Securities – www.banking.state.pa.us, 800-722-2657
PA Attorney General – www.attorneygeneral.gov, 800-441-2555
PA Department of State – www.dos.state.pa.us, 800-822-2113
CONTACT: Sarah Stroman firstname.lastname@example.org (215) 541-2388