Illinois Attorney General talks scams in Quincy

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan held a roundtable discussion with community leaders on consumer scams and identity theft.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan stopped in Quincy on Thursday to talk about the rising crime of consumer fraud.

"We want people to know what they can do to protect their financial information from being used, and their credit being used by thieves," Madigan said.

She spoke with city officials and the public in a roundtable discussion at John Wood Community College.

"Unfortunately, everybody is potentially going to be a victim of identity theft," Madigan added.

Statistics show that Madigan is right.

She said her office handles around 200,000 concerns a year, and out of those concerns, 30,000 pertain to identity theft.

"We need to be more vigilant over our personal financial information, companies, government, non profits, anybody that collects our personal information, also has to do more to better secure that information," she said.

Madigan says there is no fool-proof way to keep your identity safe, but there are ways to better protect yourself.

"My strong suggestion is people put transaction alerts on their credit cards, and on their debit cards, that people start to receive and review copies of their credit reports," Madigan said.

If you don't, figuring out who stole your identity can be a major headache.

"It takes a lot of time, it's very stressful, so you would prefer not to have to spend the time, and emotional energy trying to work through these problems," Madigan added.

And if you are one of the unlucky ones to fall victim to identity theft, the Illinois Attorney General's office in Quincy might be able to help.

Since it's been in place, the office has helped more than 35,000 people remove over $26 million dollars worth of fraudulent charges on their credit.

Story by KHQA's Jack Pluta.