www.qns.com I LIC COURIER I JULY 2018 43
Identity Theft BY JOHN SAVIGNANO, CPA
Almost half of American consumers (48%) think it is at
least somewhat likely they will lose money to identity
the in the near future, according to data from a Harris
Poll conducted on behalf of the AICPA. e survey
polled 1,006 U.S. adults by phone in the autumn of 2017.
eir instincts may ne correct: 143 million U.S.
consumers were victims of cybercrime in 2017, with
losses hitting $19.4 billion.
Still, only three in ve adults responding to the AICPA
survey (61%) said they had ever looked at their credit
report. Monitoring your credit is an important step in
protecting your nances, according to the AICPA’s
National CPA Financial Literacy Commission.
Consumers can request one free report per year from
each of the three major credit reporting agencies and
review them for unusual activity.
Consumers should also check credit reports associated
with their children’s names, even if their children are
years away from applying for credit.
Eighty-one percent of consumers reported making
changes to their behavior to ward o potential
scammers, including tactics such as:
• More frequently checking accounts and statements
for unusual activity.
• Using cash or checks more often.
• Shopping at locally owned businesses rather than
national chains in hopes of avoiding data leaks.
• Going to fewer websites or quitting social media.
It’s important to report suspicious nancial activity
quickly, as losses can escalate if notication is delayed.
e commission also recommends using only secure
wireless internet networks, as thieves may skim personal
information from open networks at coee shops and
John Savignano is a partner with Savignano
Accountants & Advisors located at 47-46 Vernon Blvd.,
Second Floor, in Long Island City. If you have any
questions or require additional information, please call
John at 718-707-0955.