CBI offers ID theft prevention tips on heels of data theft

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identity-theftWith the latest news of hackers allegedly stealing a record 1.2 billion user names and passwords from websites around the globe, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation Identity Theft and Fraud Unit encourages Colorado residents to take steps to protect their identities.

While the CBI has not received any reports of Colorado residents impacted by this apparent digital data theft, agents offer these general tips to help reduce the impact of identity theft:

·         Frequently change passwords on websites, especially banks and online shopping sites containing personal and financial information.

·         Thoroughly review bank and credit card statements to ensure there are no unauthorized transactions.

·         Never offer your personal identifying or financial information to someone you don’t know.

·         Be wary of emails that encourage you to “click here”; instead visit the web page directly. For example: Do not click the link for a bank in the body of the email; rather, type the bank’s URL and then visit the site.

The CBI offers support and assistance to victims of Identity Theft and Fraud through the ID Theft Hotline (1-855-443-9489-toll free) staffed 24-hours a day.

The CBI provides the only advocate in the state helping victims navigate through the identify theft recovery process. Victim Advocate Hazel Heckers has been nationally recognized for her efforts to aid identity theft victims.