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FBI Offers Advice on Preventing Identity Theft

By Eileen Buckley

Buffalo, NY – A local FBI official offered advice Monday on how to prevent identity theft. A seminar was co-sponsored by the Crime Prevention Association of Western New York and held at UB's South campus.

Buffalo FBI Special Agent Paul Moskal says identity theft is now considered the fastest growing crime in America.

"Identity theft, in and of itself, is really just the first half of the crime," Moskal said. "The second part of identity theft is fraud. We assume that identity to either use the credit card or apply for new cards, and that's what happens most often. People also use the fraudulent identity to apply for mortgages and loans."

Moskal says most identity theft occurs through family members and acquaintances. He says consumers need to use common sense to prevent the crime. Moskal says when shopping on-line, make sure you are dealing with a reputable company.