Be aware and thwart theft

Tuesday, 2 September 2003, 1:22 PM EST

While banks and the state's attorney general are taking steps to thwart identity theft, they say their safeguards can quickly be offset by carelessness by consumers.

One of the principal reasons identity theft is such a contentious problem is that victims often go months, even years, before detecting identity theft, says Noelle Tally in the N.C. attorney general's office, which is conducting a statewide education campaign about identity theft.

Another part of the problem is that identity theft is relatively easy. Banks warn that your checks, the bills that come in the mail and a lot of solicitations from companies that know your accounts all include the numbers that, taken together, are your financial identity.

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