Identity theft on rise during holiday season

Posted at 6:38 PM, Nov 30, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-30 19:38:44-05

People all across the world jumped into holiday shopping by looking for the best deals on Cyber Monday.

However, because of all the shopping, online customers are seeing an increased risk of identity theft.

Officer Beth Glover of the Lee’s Summit Police Department says cases of identity theft are on the rise this time of year.

As a result, police are increasingly joining forces with other areas to put a stop to the crimes.

Lee’s Summit is currently a part of The Heartland of America Regional Computer Forensics Lab (HARCFL), which tracks cyber crimes in parts of Missouri and Kansas.

Officer Glover also says metro police are working with the Secret Service and other federal law enforcement to try and decrease cases of identity theft.

“Credit card theft has definitely increased over time,” Glover explained. “We didn't see this type of activity 10 or 15 years ago. Just over the last few years we have seen an uptick in reporting.”

Police give the following tips to online shoppers to help them avoid getting their identity stolen:

•         Use a secure website: One way to tell is by searching for “https” in the address

•         Avoid using public Wi-Fi when buying things online

•         Only use trusted websites for purchases

Shoppers, like Shae Simmons, take this advice from police to heart.

“I usually shop on Amazon,” said Simmons. “I do that because I think it’s pretty safe.”

According to police, if a person thinks they are a victim of a credit card theft, they should first report the crime to their bank and then to law enforcement.


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