Northampton area seniors learn about identity theft

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Today, local seniors had the chance to learn about ways to safeguard their identity.

Deter, detect, defend. Those are the keys to protecting yourself from fraud and identity theft.

A workshop at the Northampton Senior Center was hosted by Citizens Bank of Northampton.

The goal was to educate seniors about how identity theft can occur, and how you can protect yourself.

“We suggest not keeping your social security card in your wallet, along with your driver’s license and credit cards. Because to a criminal or someone who is looking for that information, that’s a jackpot,”said Joshua Williams, Assistant Branch Mgr., Citizens Bank, Northampton.

Identity theft can happen online, or by dumpster diving for personal information in the trash.

“The credit card that I used had a charge on there that wasn’t initiated by me from another country, and I wasn’t even in that country,” said Georgianna Rouleau of Northampton.

Citizen’s Bank of Northampton told 22News that every day they get someone walking in to fill out a fraud affidavit.

We talked to one of their employees who had her identity stolen. She told 22News she’s been dealing with it for more than 8 years.”

Somebody had gotten a hold of my social security number. Six different people in six different states got mortgages, loans and credit cards under my name before I even had my own loans and credit cards under my name,” said Tiffany Joseph.

Other tips include looking for suspicious devices attached to places where you swipe your card.

Citizens Bank says using a credit card is often safer than a debit card.

They say to fill out a police report if you think your a victim.

Citizens Bank also recommends getting your free annual credit report to look for anything suspicious.

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