Information meeting on identity theft held in Cranford


Pictured are Jamie Miller, Denis Dankosky, Sgt. Vitale, John Garretson.

On April 29, residents gathered together for an informational meeting on identity theft and how to protect your assets from it. The event was sponsored by Garretson Financial in partnership with the Cranford Police Department. The meeting was led by Sgt. Richard Vitale, Denis Dankosky and Jamie Miller.

Sgt. Vitale gave a broad overview as to what identity thieves’ look for, how they get it and what is needed to protect oneself. Some specific suggestions made by Sgt. Vitale included the following:

— Don’t put outgoing mail in your household mailbox – only use the blue Post Office boxes or the Post Office itself.
— Shred all documents containing personal information using a “confetti cut” shredder and discard by separating into multiples bags or burn the documents. (A straight shredder is easy for those with deceitful intent to recreate the document from the shredded pieces).
— Do not give Social Security number out to anyone. Very often when you refuse they come up an alternative question to ask. Do not give it out.
— Review your free credit report each year from (Other sites claim to be free but end up charging you).
— Remove your name from marketing lists by using and
— Remain diligent, be aware of your surroundings at ATM Machines; lock your home and vehicle; be wary of phone, email or door to door scams.

Vitale emphasized that it’s extremely important to call the local police department if you see or believe that anything has happened.

Denis Dankosky, a local State Farm agent, followed up by reassuring the crowd that one can keep their identity their own through Identity Restoration Coverage and can protect personal assets by obtaining Personal Articles Policy insurance. He also reviewed Umbrella Policy coverage emphasizing that one’s existing insurance may not provide the proper amount of liability coverage for each circumstance.

Jamie Miller of Garretson Financial wrapped up the evening by reiterating both Sgt. Vitales and Dankosky’s points on protecting assets. He also pointed out that it is extremely important to take a home inventory either through pictures or video and to document all property assets to support any claims of loss.

He concluded by saying this documentation should be kept in a safe deposit box or make multiple copies and give duplicates to family members in the event the original copy is destroyed in a loss.

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