Garodnick, Goldfeder, and Dinowitz Raise Awareness During Protect Your Identity Week
This week is National Protect Your Identity Week, and Councilman Dan Garodnick, chair of the City Council Consumer Affairs Committee, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, chair of the State Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee, and Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder, member of the Assembly Aging Committee, used the opportunity to bring awareness about the dangers of identity theft, and how to prevent it. They joined together with City agencies and consumer advocates to give people tips on how to stay safe online.
“As technology presents new opportunities, it often also brings new risks,” said Council Member Dan Garodnick. “We want New Yorkers to make the best decisions on how to protect their identity, and to reduce their vulnerability to those who seek to defraud them."
"The scourge of identity theft has reached epidemic proportions, which is why we are taking strong steps in the State Assembly to combat this terrible problem. We have passed new state laws addressing this issue and as Chair of the Assembly Committee on Consumer Affairs and Protection, I will continue to lead the fight in the legislature to safeguard the people of the State of New York by giving them, as well as law enforcement, greater tools in our ongoing battle against identity theft,” said Assemblyman Dinowitz.
''Everyone should take proactive steps to secure their identity when conducting financial transactions online, and providing personal information over the internet. Particularly seniors who are the most vulnerable and a target of many scams must take extra steps to not become a victim of identity theft,'' said Assemblyman Goldfeder (D-Rockaway), member of the NYS Assembly Aging Committee. "We must educate everyone who uses a computer to conduct any sort of business online to be vigilant and aware of the potential predators looking to steal ones private information and identity."
“In this day and age, cybercriminals can easily attack an individual from thousands of miles away if necessary precautions aren’t taken. Consumers must remain vigilant in protecting their identities and financial information from criminals seeking to take advantage of this new frontier. We urge anyone who believes that he or she may have been the victim of an online fraud to call the Manhattan District Attorney’s Cybercrime and Identity Theft hotline at 212-335-9600. I would like to thank Council Member Garodnick and his colleagues in the City Council for shining a light on this important issue,” said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr.
“New York has one of the highest rates of identity theft cases in the country and the Department of Consumer Affairs applauds Council Member Garodnick for highlighting the issue today. The Department is committed to helping New Yorkers learn how to take preventative steps to protect themselves,” said Department of Consumer Affairs Commissioner Jonathan Mintz. “If you’ve been a victim of identity theft and are struggling with repairing the damage that’s been done, you can call 311 to make an appointment for free financial counseling at one of the City’s Financial Empowerment Centers. In addition, I encourage all New Yorkers to download our identity theft prevention tips for both consumers and businesses at nyc.gov/consumers and attend Shred Fest, our free, annual Citywide event where thousands of New Yorkers shred tens of thousands of documents every year.”
“October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, and we’re pleased today to join Council Member Garodnick and other elected officials in highlighting October 20-27 as National Protect Your Identity Week,” said Dan Srebnick, Associate Commissioner for IT Security at the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications. “The City of New York recognizes and takes very seriously its responsibility to protect the personal information of residents, businesses, and employees, and does so as a fundamental part of its IT security posture.”
The tips were compiled with help from the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, and the Department of Consumer Affairs. They are listed here and attached with this release:
1) Be Wary of E-mails from Strangers.
2) Shop With Trusted Merchants
3) Do Not Use Public Computers or Wireless for Transactions
4) Use Secure Website Browsers ("https://")
5) Pay By Credit Card Instead of Debit
6) Watch Out for Account Update Scams
7) Update Your Anti-Virus Software
8) Ignore Pop up Messages
9) Keep a Paper Trail
10) Wipe Your Computer Clean Before Recycling It