Skip to Content

Identity theft, Part 2: Ways to stay safe


It happens before you know it.

Identify theft can happen in many different forms. But are you protected?

“The No. 1 one way is to attack the person themselves. And not a physical attack, more of a getting you to reveal something about yourself in some way allows that to leverage that online against you,” said Deschutes County sheriff’s Capt. Paul Garrison.

Garrison said the first step to protecting your identity is awareness.

“Often times, we find folks who don’t have the awareness of how to protect their identity and info from getting out there,” he said. “And if you don’t do that, obviously, you have selected a place for someone to (get a) foothold to construct that identity, or steal yours.”

The Federal Trade Commission reported that between 2006 and 2008, 17 million people in the U.S. were a victim of identity thefts.

It is important to prevent it before it happens.

Garrison said one of scammers’ biggest allies these days is social media. So posting pictures of your vacation could be helping scammers get hold of your information.

“There is a lot of personal info on there. But what info do you post daily? Location, likes, dislikes, friends. You post info about your self personally, and that is info I don’t want someone to get that shouldn’t have it.”

With the growth of technology, Garrison said scammers will only get smarter. The only way to prevent it is to be aware of what you share.

“It’s almost an exponential growth, against the growth of technology itself,” he said. “So for every two people who adopt technology, there is another six people behind that.”

Kyle Frick, the vice president of marketing at Mid Oregon Credit Union in Bend, urges his clients to use the Card Nav app. It allows users to turn their card on and off, limit locations where the card is used and set a spending limit.

Frick said since they implemented the app, users have been reporting less fraud.

“We take the info and the channels and the opportunity we have to communicate with our members, to share info so they can be safe and protected in the environment,” he said.

Tyler Hardison works at a Bend based cyber security company, Redhawk. They help companies in Central Oregon protect against identity theft.

He said a lot of the time,scammers who pretend to be a government agency or even your bank will try to contact you urgently.

“Any time you get that request, and there is some sort of time limit, you want to immediately step back and go, ‘Wait a minute — why is this so urgent? I didn’t know about this before. Maybe I should get a second opinion,'” Hardison said.

Hardison also recommended creating strong online passwords and updating them frequently.

Garrison also warned of “phishing,” or an attempt by scammers to get hold of your information while masquerading as a reputable source, like your bank.

“I would say the best way to tell if it is a phishing scam is.: those places are not going to call you and ask for that info that they already have,” he said.

Garrison’s advice?

“If you are suspicious that it is possibly something related to credit or banking, and someone is calling and asking for that info, the best thing to do is stop with that phone call,” he said. “Hang up and call the number on the back of your card — your health care card and credit card have phone numbers.”

If you think you have been a victim of identity theft, you can file a report with the Federal Trade Commission at

Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

KTVZ News Team


KTVZ NewsChannel 21 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content