SACO, Maine — Identity theft and fraud are growing issues across the nation, as well as right here in Maine. According to Maine Fraud Prevention Alliance member Jane Carpenter, President and CEO of Maine Identity Services, losses attributable to cybercrime in the United States are around $113 billion total.
Last month, Jane and other local financial services, insurance, legal and law enforcement professionals teamed up to help educate the public about the growing problem of identity theft and fraud at the MFPA seminar titled, “Protecting and Restoring Your Good Name.”
“Identity theft is increasingly prevalent both in Maine and across the nation,” said Jane Carpenter. “Often people are unaware of the risks they face when handling their personal information or simply don’t know how to protect themselves. During the seminar we discussed many ways, both high-tech and low-tech precautions to help eliminate these risks.”
Each covering different aspects of identity theft and fraud, speakers included Jane Carpenter, Maine Identity Services, LLC; Lynn Vigneault, P&C Insurance; Heather Clark, Saco & Biddeford Savings Institution; and William King Jr., York County Sheriff’s office. Previously a victim of fraud, Noella Hebert also attended the seminar to share her story, from how it all began to how she recovered later on.
“Anyone can be a victim of fraud,” explained Heather Clark, AVP, Marketing Officer of Saco & Biddeford Savings. “It’s our goal to arm people with the tools and knowledge to stop fraud in its tracks and to not only prevent themselves from becoming a victim, but also to help those around them.”
Prevention is pivotal to stopping identity theft and other types of fraud. After forming two years ago, the MFPA developed the DASH Fraud program, which includes four easy-to-remember measures to prevent fraud:
Delete unsolicited email and texts
Ask for permits from door-to-door salespeople
Shred personal information/documents and junk mail
Hang-up unsolicited calls
About Maine Fraud Prevention Alliance
Founded in July 2012, the mission of the MFPA is to be a leader in fraud prevention through increased awareness of the various ways fraud is attempted, particularly financial fraud. The more we can stimulate the conversation around strategies to deter fraud, the better we can arm our communities against this crime. For more information visit www.dashfraud.com.