Skip to Content

Attorney General’s Office releases new identity theft resource guide

People are aware of the many ways to prevent identity theft, such as shredding documents with private information.

Chief Counsel Joe Bindbeutel at the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Office said he believes the days of identity thieves rooting through people’s trash for that private information are just about over.

He said with the rise in the frequent use of the internet and credit cards, more people are falling victim to another form theft that comes from data loss through major retailers and health insurance companies.

“The folks that drill into those databases on line unlawfully, take advantage of those businesses, and get that data, they’re using that data for nefarious purposes only,” he said. “They’re going to steal it, they’re going to convert it to some means of borrowing money on your behalf or accessing your bank account.”

He said that could be why the Attorney General’s Office has seen an uptick in the amount of identity theft related complaints in the past year.

He said last year they received about 500 complaints total. But this year isn’t even halfway over, and the office has already received well over 1,000.

Because of this increase, the Attorney General’s Office has compiled all of its tips and resources on identity theft into one comprehensive guide.

“In the last month we put the guide together, it was somewhat of a crash effort,” Bindbeutel said.

The guide explains the different types of identity theft and how to prevent them, as well as what steps to take if they happen to a consumer.

When it comes to the large scale data breaches, such as the ones that happened to Target, Home Depot, and Blue Cross Blue Shield, the guide recommends only giving out your credit card number to smaller retailers you can trust.

Data breaches aren’t the only ways scammers will steal someone’s information: tax fraud is also on the rise because most of it is done online.

“Scammers that are active in this area have come up with a means file taxes to get enough information from enough people to pose as them to electronically file their taxes,” Bindbeutel said.

As consumers look ahead to next year’s tax deadline, the Attorney General’s Office recommends filing taxes early to avoid losing their refund in a scam.

The guide also lists different groups to get in touch with depending on which type of identity fraud a consumer has fallen victim to.

The online Identity Theft Resource Guide is available here, but you can also request a hard copy sent to you.

You can also contact the Consumer Protection hotline at 800-392-8222 to speak with someone personally.

Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

ABC 17 News Team


ABC 17 News is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content