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ID theft a danger to anyone

Brian McGill, IAA Credit Union, spoke at the annual Farm Safety Breakfast in Pontiac / CIFN photo

PONTIAC – Credit card fraud happens constantly and can lead to identity theft.

Brian McGill, marketing and member development supervisor for IAA Credit Union, spoke at the annual Farm Safety Breakfast in Pontiac Tuesday.

“People take a long time to steal your identity,” McGill explained.

You may not even realize you are a victim of identity theft until something major occurs. McGill urges individuals to sign-up for debit and credit card alerts which indicate a questionable transaction.

"If anyone calls, do not verify information,” McGill said.

Financial institutions should already have private information on file. According to McGill, hacking is out of our control but places to watch for breaches include major companies such as Anthem, Blue Cross and the IRS.

Around 50 percent of the phone calls received at IAA Credit Union include lost, stolen or breached cards. McGill cautions against using free WI-FI at places such as hotels and if you suspect you have been burglarized, take inventory of your personal information.

McGill told the crowd to “get crazy” with passwords by creating one utilizing symbols which would make it more difficult for criminals to figure out. Also, be sure to change passwords regularly to stop some of these problems and to properly secure your private information.

“Put something different in each security question,” McGill advised.

Livingston County Farm Bureau President Jason Bunting was pleased with the meeting turnout and fairly calm weather conditions for this time of the year. Bunting considers this a valuable meeting for those involved in farming.

“It’s kind of an informational meeting for farm workers, farm families and farmers themselves,” he said.

Jody Hughes, manager for the Livingston County Farm Bureau, hopes some questions were answered along the way.

“We have a lot of people come to us with questions so it’s a great time to get our farmers in contact with the guys that deal with this every day.”

Hughes wants farmers to have as much information as they can before heading back out to the fields in April. The Farm Bureau has also planned a smart phone training session for Feb. 9 starting at 9 a.m. in the Dwight library. More information can be obtained by calling 815-842-1103.

Tuesday’s Farm Safety Meeting was co-sponsored by the Farm Bureaus of McLean and Livingston counties along with Prairie Central Co-op.

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