On June 15, Legislator Stephanie Bontempi (R-18th L.D.) joined with her colleagues, Legislator Manuel Esteban (R-16th L.D.) and Legislator Rob Trotta (R-13th L.D.), at the East Northport Public Library to host an Identity Theft Prevention Seminar. The seminar was led by various members of both the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office and the Suffolk County Police Department’s Financial Crimes Unit.
The purpose of this presentation was to provide attendees with not only the latest information regarding the scams and tactics that are currently out there, but to provide them with the tools needed to avoid becoming victims. More than one presenter stressed how it is usually too late once a victim takes a scam’s bait, illustrating the value of taking certain simple preventative steps.
“People need to hear about the horror stories that are out there with respect to identity theft,” said Bontempi. “Some people are victimized and their lives are absolutely turned upside down. I urge everyone to educate themselves and share their knowledge with family and friends.”
Although scams can sometimes target certain age groups more than others, anyone can fall prey to them, especially when he or she least expects it. Because of the prevalence of identity theft-related crimes, law enforcement and their partners in government rely heavily on the feedback from the public. One way to report a potential scam is to contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by phone at 1-877-FTC-HELP or via online at ftc.gov/complaint.
A great resource to learn more about identity theft and preventative measures is available at www.nysconsumer.gov
If you have been victimized by an identity theft-related crime, call your local police department as soon as possible.