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“Business Watch” Takes Aim At Identity Theft

Sheriff’s deputies and detectives met with business owners Wednesday to discuss a new program designed to reel in identity theft, which is growing at a rate of 50% a year.

The program is called F.I.T.E, which stands for Fraud and Identity Theft Education. It teaches business owners how to protect themselves against theft on their premises, which is a leading contributor to personal identity theft. Thieves break into businesses, steal client databases, and use the information they receive to electronically rob multiple people.

Sergeant Jim Anderson, the keynote speaker noted that it’s not a rare occurrence. “I’ve been the victim of Identity theft three times. Not because I’m careless, it’s the businesses I use that aren’t protecting my data.” 

Sheriff Officials figure, if they can stop the initial business robbery, then they will have effectively stopped the identity theft that follows.

One of the biggest frustrations for detectives are the little things businesses don’t do. Things like checking identification for credit and check charges, safeguarding blank checks, and not placing security cameras correctly.

Security video has long been considered a great way to catch criminals, but too often the cameras are placed at an angle that shows only the top of their head. And Sgt. Anderson stresses one very important fact that puts to bed whatever CSI led you to believe: "Police do not have the ability to make a bad picture good, period.”

The program is chalked full of information that can save business owners and their patrons a lot of headaches as well as money. In fact, in the event a business has their client information stolen, the law says they must notify each client, regardless of whether or not they were victims.     

Proper prevention techniques are key to the success of fighting identity fraud. The seminar is a quick hour in length and free of charge. There will be one more presentation Wednesday October 25th at 7:30am at the SCV Chamber of Commerce Office. Complimentary breakfast and coffee will be served.


Jon Dell

KHTS AM 1220 News