Identity theft experts hold awareness event in Moberly

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MOBERLY - Safe ID Trust is hosting an Identity Theft Awareness Conference Thursday evening from 6-8 p.m. at Moberly Municipal Court. Speakers will present methods of prevention, review state cases of identity theft, and share the stories of identity theft victims.

Laura Butterfield, of Safe ID Trust, said identity theft is rampant, especially for young people, who have a one in ten chance of having their identity stolen. For older Americans the chance is one in 20.

Butterfield said, "It's not if your identity will be stolen, it's when."

Missouri ranks as the fourth highest state for instances of identity theft, according to the Consumer Sentinel Network. In 2014, more than 7,000 complaints were made by Missouri residents.

Missouri's identity theft rank jumped from the 25th to the fourth in just one year. The Consumer Sentinel Network said St. Louis was the third highest metro area last year.

The stealing of government documents and account information make up more than 50 percent of identity theft complaints.

Identity theft has been the number one customer complaint nationwide for 15 years, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center.

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster has a checklist on how to prevent identity theft. Some of the tips include using a paper shredder when discarding billing statements; not carrying a social security card; and changing passwords every 60 days.