A new report shows one city in southern Colorado ranks in the top 10 when it comes to identity theft complaints. According to the study done by NerdWallet, Pueblo has the eighth highest number of complaints.
NerdWallet is a financial service company in San Francisco. They ranked Pueblo eighth under identity theft complaints in the largest U.S. metropolitan areas.
NerdWallet said Pueblo had 252 total identity theft complaints, with 156.1 complaints per 100,000 residents. It’s based on data from December 2011 to September 14, 2015.
It’s a good reminder that we all need to take precautions.
“Identity theft is in all 50 states and it can impact anybody at any time,” said attorney Tim Bussey, of the Bussey Law Firm, P.C.
Our 11 Call for Action team has talked to several victims of identity theft in the past. One crook filed taxes under a woman’s name.
“I’ve heard about this but it’s never happened to me…when it happened to me, it was a shock,” said Betty Williams, an identity theft victim.
This spring, there was a spike in car break-ins at local trailheads, leaving hikers information vulnerable.
“I really wouldn’t have thought about it here,” said hiker Kevin Shorland. “I just locked up like I normally would.”
One local lawyer says it’s a hard crime to tackle.
“I’ve consulted concerning cases involving identity theft,” said Bussey. “Understand identity theft, many times, involves people from different states or perhaps different countries, so the issue is one that’s very broad.”
There are ways you can protect yourself: don’t carry your Social Security card, shred receipts and credit offers, and destroy labels on prescription bottles. The Federal Trade Commission has a full list of measures you can take. Click the link on the right side of your page.
The credit card industry is undergoing a $33 billion upgrade to help reduce fraud. Security experts point to the prevalence of magnetic stripe cards as the reason the U.S. deals with more credit card fraud than any other nation. Nations such as Canada and the United Kingdom have seen fraud cases drop dramatically since transitioning to chip cards. The credit card industry is hoping by making the switch in the U.S., such cases will begin plummeting here as well.
By October, everyone in the country will be issued a new credit or debit card with an embedded chip.