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Iowans Urged to Protect Themselves After Latest Data Breach

PHOTO: It has become one of the most pervasive crimes in America, and the risk of identity theft is now looming over another 76-million households because of this summer's data breach at JP Morgan Chase. Photo credit: Don Hankins/Flickr.
PHOTO: It has become one of the most pervasive crimes in America, and the risk of identity theft is now looming over another 76-million households because of this summer's data breach at JP Morgan Chase. Photo credit: Don Hankins/Flickr.
October 6, 2014

DES MOINES, Iowa - With JP Morgan Chase now reporting this summer's data breach put the personal information of 76-million American households at risk, residents across Iowa are being urged to take steps to protect themselves.

The cyber attack on JP Morgan Chase comes along with recent breaches at companies such as Home Depot and Target and more will follow, says Ann Black, state director for communications with AARP Iowa.

"Unfortunately, identity theft and online security breaches are just becoming more and more a problem, and this latest experience is showing how crucial it is for people to really become aware and protect themselves," Black says.

One way Iowans can reduce their risk, explains Black, is with AARP's Fraud Watch Network. It's a free service for anyone of any age, which provides information on how to protect yourself, along with up-to-the-minute information on the latest scams.

The Fraud Watch Network tools are online at the AARP website, and they include maps so people can get current details on what's happening close to home.

"You can click on the state of Iowa, for example, and find out what scams have been reported by friends and neighbors, that are happening here in Iowa," Black says.

Another unique resource offered is videos of interviews with actual con artists.

"Telling how they have taken advantage of people," says Black "When you sit and watch these videos you can just say, 'Wow, I need to be checking my online bank account on a daily basis. I need to set up two passwords.' So learning from what the con artists say they've done is a great way for people to get educated."

Last year alone in the United States, there was a new identity-fraud victim every two seconds with total losses of around $18 billion.

John Michaelson, Public News Service - IA