Seminar focuses on limiting identity theft risk

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Identity theft occurs every three seconds. Some 400,000 deceased people had banks accounts opened in their name last year, and a 2-year-old boy discovered he was in arrears on child support when his mother went to open a bank account in his name.

That’s the word from the Huron Valley Chamber of Commerce, which will host a seminar on identity theft 9:30-11 a.m. Tuesday, June 10, at the Milford Public Library.

“Identity theft is the No. 1 complaint to the Federal Trade Commission 14 years in a row, so it’s a big problem,” said Lisa Schiller, certified identity theft risk management specialist and partner with Schiller and Associates. “A lot of times, people think identity theft is just about credit card fraud and money, and it’s not. It can be anything.”

Schiller, along with Lori Verbrugge of Huron Valley State Bank, will talk about understanding identity theft and how it occurs, as well as ways to minimize risk and what to look for in a protection service provider.

“Depending on the severity of the identity theft, it can be anything from a minor disruption – having to change your credit card or bank account number – or it can be very devastating; medical identity theft is one of the most tragic forms, because they’re using your information. Everything a person has done at a medical facility becomes part of your medical file.”

Criminal identity theft is also very serious, she added, and can saddle an innocent person with a criminal record.

“The reality is there’s no way to stop it,” Schiller said. “It’s just a matter of being an informed consumer.”

In addition to individual protection, Schiller will also speak about things business owners need to know about identity theft.

The event, which is free to chamber members, starts with a continental breakfast, sponsored by Huron Valley State bank, at 9:30 a.m., and the seminar begins at 10 a.m. Nonmembers are asked to make a $5 donation to the library. Schiller and Verbrugge will both be available after the meeting to answer questions.

“I’m going to make it as fun as I can, considering it’s a serious subject matter,” Schiller said. “We’ll start with a little quiz to see what everyone thinks about identity theft. My whole goal is education.”

Space is limited. Call the Huron Valley Chamber at 248-685-7129 by June 8 to reserve a spot.

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