By Mandi Enger
According to Detective Chris White of the Henderson Police Department, there are only two types of people: those that have been victims of identity theft, and those that will become victims. A member of the Property Crimes Unit within the Henderson Police Department, White was joined by Detective Brent Wagner on Wednesday, Nov. 13 to present Identity Theft and Fraud Related Crimes, to the Nevada State College (NSC) campus. The event was part of NSC’s rapidly expanding Financial Literacy Series.
The Henderson Police Department originally participated in the series during the spring 2013 semester and was asked to make a second presentation this fall due to popular demand.
As mentioned by Detective White, identity theft related crimes are becoming more and more prevalent and are therefore a popular topic, said Anthony Morrone, associate director of financial aid and student employment. Through the Financial Literacy Series and speakers like the Henderson Police Department, our department aims to prepare participants with a base of both financial understanding and security.
A crowd of over 30 students, faculty, and staff participated in the discussion in the Marydean Martin Library; many sharing personal experiences as victims of identity theft or seeking advice for the future.
I originally went to the speaker series to get a better understanding of what identity theft is and how we can prevent it, shared Shawna Tracy, an elementary education major and NSSA Senator. I also wanted to ask questions about online theft because I have recently been doing a lot of purchasing over the internet.
Topics covered by the officers included an overview of identity theft related crimes, preventative actions for all individuals, and recommended steps for those affect by this type of theft.
Tracy continued, What I found to be the most interesting from the presentation is the many different ways identity theft can be carried out. I was amazed to know that your personal information can be obtained by stealing tax records, standing behind you at ATMs or stores, and by even going through your trash. Simple fraud protection tips suggested by the detectives include:
Use credit cards, rather than debit, to make purchases online and at gas stations or restaurants and check your receipts before signing.
Cancel credit cards that are no longer in use.
Shred financial documents and mail, rather than simply throwing them away.
Save debit and credit card receipts and reconcile accounts monthly.
“Try not to be a victim, pay attention to what is going on, White added
The Financial Literacy Series was introduced to the NSC campus in November 2012. The casual, discussion-based presentations are open to current students, alumni, faculty, staff, and parents. Topics such as budgeting and understanding credit, have been selected based on student needs recognized by the Department of Financial Aid. Presentations have featured both guest speakers and webinars.
The next event in the series will be a Student Loan Repayment Seminar held on two dates: December 12 at 2 p.m. in the Basic and Water II building, room 2013; and December 13 at 11 a.m. in the Marydean Martin Library. For additional information on the series, please call 702-992-2152 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.