Identity theft growing concern - Metro US

Identity theft growing concern

As the use of social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook and MySpace rises, so does identity theft and online fraud, Ottawa police said.

People are putting their personal information — including their phone numbers and addresses — out there, which makes it easy for information to fall into the wrong hands, said Staff Sgt. Bill Sullivan.

Identity theft is a growing offence, said Sullivan, and the Internet makes it easy.

“With the Internet, you don’t know who you’re dealing with,” he said. “Once you put information out there, how do you get it back? It never really leaves, so don’t put it out there.”

The officer in charge of organized fraud with the Ottawa police, Sullivan is one of the presenters teaching city residents how to safeguard their identities at a public information session at city hall at 7 p.m. Monday.

The seminar, which is targeted at people of all ages, including teens, parents, and the elderly, will also cover Internet scams, viruses and the importance of securing wireless networks.

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