Protecting your personal identity has never been more important. 

Kurth Memorial Library and the Lufkin Police Department teamed up Monday to help educate people on the dangers of identity theft.

A workshop covering some of the common ways thieves steal information was held Monday at the library, offering information and advice on how to curb identity theft.

Lufkin Police Detective Otis Almond spoke during the workshop, which covered the basics on staying safe in a world where identity theft and fraud run rampant.

“Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the world today,” Almond said. “And we see a lot of it in Lufkin.”

Oftentimes, Almond said, people who have fallen prey to identity theft don’t know until they attempt to get a loan or are contacted by a bill collector. Because of its convenient location between Beaumont, Dallas and Houston, Almond said Lufkin is a “magnet” for fraud.

The workshop provided several tips and tricks for staying safe in the online world, including how to detect identity theft and how to prevent it if possible.

If left unchecked, Almond said identity theft could lead to destroyed credit, the victim having to declare bankruptcy or finding that a thief has drained the victim’s bank account.

What makes it even more difficult to recover from identity theft is the fact that most times the burden is on the victim to prove that they were not responsible for any charges or other activities carried out by the thief.

Identity theft hurts everybody.  Not just the immediate victims.