Some East Texans are now more aware of one of the most expensive and devastating crimes in the U.S.
At a seminar in Lufkin Wednesday, they learned a few simple steps to protect their credit and guard themselves from identity theft. Once your identity is stolen, it can take years and thousands of dollars to restore your credit and clean up the mess thieves make of your good name.
There are several things you can do to protect yourself from ID theft. Secure how you receive your mail and what you get through the mail. Do not have checks mailed to you - pick them up from your bank instead.
Jay Kent, national advisor for Merrill Lynch, said, "I think it's probably getting easier and easier to do. There're many different ways of doing it - through Internet, mail, etc."
You should also check your credit report at least once a year, just in case.