ID Theft -- Could you be the next victim?

The old saying "it won't happen to me" no longer holds water in today's sophisticated electronic world. What once was relatively safe has now become an open target for everyday hackers and hardened criminals, and your identity and all your personal information could be at stake.
Identity theft is America's fastest-growing crime, according to the Federal Law Enforcement and Security Arm of the U.S. Postal Service. Last year alone, more than 9.9 million Americans were victims of identity theft, a crime that cost them roughly $5 billion.
Identity theft can happen to anyone. How will you protect yourself and your business? Get these and other identity theft questions answered at the Aiken Chamber of Commerce's Spring Business Academy, "Identity Theft - It IS All About You."
The Business Academy will be held Wednesday, June 19, from 8 to10 a.m. in the Penland Building, Room 106, located on the University of South Carolina Aiken campus.
The slate of presenters include Fred Green III, president and CEO, South Carolina Bankers Association; Thomas Blackburn, special agent, U.S. Secret Service; Lynn Shepard, senior operations manager, Security Federal Bank; Craig Tarkenton, director of engineering, EDTS, LLC; Kim Carver, owner, Carver Security Systems, Inc.; and Cindy Meares, tax director, Cherry Bekaert LLP.
The moderator is Ron Shepherd, area manager, UPS Customs Brokerage, and vice chair of Business and Community Development for the Aiken Chamber. Shepherd stressed the importance of attending the event. "Identity theft is a fast growing threat to not only to our personal lives and finances but has a broader affect in our business community in terms of increased financial costs and employee performance factors," he said.

The following will be addressed during the two-hour Business Academy:
• How identity theft works
• Types of identity theft, including current scams, credit card fraud, IRS breaches, and internet fraud scams
• Phishing - what is it?
• How to prevent identity theft
• Steps to take if you are a victim
• SC Department of Revenue breach of taxpayer's information
• What banks are doing to protect your information
• Password security tips
• Identity theft related to tax preparation - what steps to take to make sure your tax preparer is reputable
• Comparison of identity theft protection services, such as LifeLock, Experion, etc.

Sponsors of the Business Academy are:
Carver Security Systems, Inc.
Cherry Bekaert, LLP
Security Federal Bank
The cost to attend the Business Academy is $35 per person. Click here to register

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