By Jason KUROSU
Identity theft cases and complaints have skyrocketed over the past few decades, as the sophistication of white-collar crime has increased with advancements in technology.
California ranked third in the Federal Trade Commission’s 2013 list of states with the most identity theft per capita, following only Florida and Georgia. The commission also recorded over 1.1 million cases of identity theft complaints last year in its annual report.
Awareness of the growing rates of identity theft has brought the crime increased public attention. March 2 through March 8 this year marked the 16th annual National Consumer Protection Week, while the FTC also held a Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week in January, emphasizing protection against the most prevalent form of identity theft over the past few years, tax refund fraud.
On Tuesday, April 1 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., the Crescenta Valley Armenian Community & Youth Center will be hosting an event entitled Identity Theft and How to Protect Yourself, which will be free and open to the public.
Crescenta Valley Town Vice President Harry Leon described the event as a “broad look” at various forms of identity theft and techniques for avoiding fraud and scams. The Glendale Police Department’s Fraud Division is co-sponsoring the event and members of the division will be speaking.
“This crime hits everybody,” said Leon. “So we want to bring in some local officials to show how we can protect ourselves.”
The Glendale Police Dept. reported 362 cases of identity theft in 2013, up from 301 in 2012.
The Crescenta Valley Armenian Community & Youth Center is located at 2633 Honolulu Ave. in Montrose.