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Local man says he knows how to prevent identity theft

Your credit card may be just as valuable to thieves as it is to you.

Identity theft is on the rise, but there are ways to keep from becoming a victim.

Senior citizens like Robert Moore of Rapids City have it all figured out- being proactive is the best way to prevent identity theft.

After some back and forth with his bank, he set up his account to be, what he calls, identity theft proof.

“Nothing can be withdrawn unless you do it in person because if somebody’s going to do it, they’re going to do it over the computer,” said Moore.

Credit card theft is up 50-percent from 2005 to 2010, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Department of Justice.

The Illinois Comptroller’s Office says the state ranks in the top 10.

Schnucks grocery store on Middle Road is just the latest to be hit with fraud.

Card numbers and expiration dates were accessed after a hacker broke into the chain’s computer system.

Another place identity theft can hit you is at the gas pump.

The Comptroller’s Office suggests that before you swipe, you should check that the credit card machine hasn’t been tampered with and as we transition into the summer months, they say it’s important to know that identity theft only gets worse at this time.

“It could be that maybe people are out traveling more, going on vacations more and to book stuff, you use your credit card,” said Scott Mills, a Consumer Affairs Staff Assistant with the State of Illinois. “Anytime you use your credit card, I say, it’s better to be safe than sorry.”

Living proof of that sentiment are people like Moore who take no chances.

“I only got one card, don’t use it,” he said. “Just have it for, like, if you’re going to rent a motel or something.”

The Comptroller’s Office also suggests that if you have to use your card on the internet to buy something make sure the sight is secure.

It should say “https” instead of “http” and should include an image of a locked padlock somewhere on the screen.

Also, they say you should check your credit report once a year.

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