Sep 03, 2012 Dave King
The Omaha World-Herald recently published a letter from Jim Hegarty, the president of the Better Business Bureau's (BBB) Nebraska and Iowa units. The BBB and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) are the biggest proponents of proper ID verification among government agencies, and work to raise awareness of identity theft risks among the general population. According to Hegarty, young adults are often the slowest to realize they have been victimized by identity theft, leaving criminals plenty of time to take full advantage of stolen information. He believes that this risk can be greatly deterred by offering more information to individuals at a young age, along with other, more traditional safety lessons. Hegarty cites data from Javelin Strategy and Research, which revealed that 11.6 million adults in the United States were victimized by identity theft in 2011, accounting for more than $35 billion in losses. This also represented an increase of 13 percent from 2010. Tips from the BBB to deter identity theft
While businesses need to do a better job avoiding identity theft issues, Hegarty suggested that more awareness on behalf of the consumer could cut down on the total amount of money lost to fraud. The official recommends using more advanced, and constantly updated, security software on cellular devices and computers. Additionally, the BBB explains that young adults need to watch for signs of fraudulent forces, such as deals that are too good to be true, potential employers that cannot be found through normal channels and any entity asking for payment information online.