Airmen cautioned against identity theft

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- The amount of credit card fraud, debit card fraud and identity theft in the United States are seemingly on the rise.

Security forces investigators from the 354th Security Forces Squadron at Eielson receive about one report of credit/debit card fraud or identity theft every month.

The amount of reports fielded by civilian law enforcement agencies is, not surprisingly, higher than that.

Some people may be feeling reassured at the moment, thinking that one a month isn't "that bad."

What makes it bad is that it can happen to the most paranoid person who has done everything they thought possible to protect themselves. Or it could happen to the person who has done nothing because they thought it would never happen to them.

Take the time this holiday season to ensure that you do not become the next unsuspecting victim of a truly terrible crime.

Try to educate yourself on what exactly credit/debit card fraud and identity theft is. Try to pick up new tips and strategies for protecting yourself from these thieves and report the unauthorized activities within your accounts as soon as possible to law enforcement and financial agencies.

There are many resources available to you such as the Web sites for Experian, Equifax and Trans Union.

Each of these credit reporting agencies have information on fraud and identity theft, tips on how to prevent it and information on what to do after being victimized by it.

The Airman and Family Readiness Center, first sergeants and security forces also have a wealth of information on this topic as well as many others.

Please remember to be cautious when it comes to using your cards and credit. Keep a close watch on your finances, never assume your spouse made any purchase and report the incident as soon as you can.

Please enjoy your shopping experiences. Drive safe, drink responsibly and be sure to use your wingman. From all of us at the 354th Security Forces Squadron, have a very happy holiday and a merry new year.