Identity theft on the rise: Local bank fights back

Yuma

Identity theft on the rise: Local bank fights back

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Yuma, AZ- Identity theft is a growing phenomenon that reaches in the billions of dollars in losses every year.

Brian Geren, Marketing Manager at Mohave State Bank, tells 13 On Your Side there has been a spike of identity theft in Yuma County, as well as in the entire nation.

"One instance that we had locally was the implementation of malware that was placed at a local business. It was a state wide business and it affected local customers."

Malware collects personal information.

13 on your side has previously reported identification thieves have targeted the Yuma area at a local Food City.

The sophisticated cyber thieves were able to steal information from customers who used a debit or credit card.

Also, recently an employee from a private billing company sold personal information from patients who were transported to the hospital by city ambulance to a fraud ring in Florida.

And, a waitress was caught allegedly stealing customers' information to use for fraud.

So now Mohave Bank is hosting seminars to give people an inside look at what's going on and how they can protect themselves.

"What we are trying to do is help people prevent this type of malware from being used to gain access to their personal information. We are showing them what they can do to reduce the chance that their information gets in the wrong hands," said Geren.

The best way to fight back against ID thieves is to check your bank statements weekly and to order credit reports regularly to make sure people aren't opening up credit cards in your name.

"We have had a tremendous response to our seminars. When we decided to start holding them we weren't sure how it was going to be received. Our phones have been ringing off the hook and every one of our seminars has been filled to capacity," said Geren.

He says they plan to host more seminars in the future.

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