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WVU Professor Weighs In On ID Theft Problem in America

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Are you the one spending all of your hard earned money?

Hopefully you are, but there is a chance you aren't.

Identity theft is on the rise. That's according to a report from Javelin Strategy and Research.

It's 2012 numbers show that the $21 billion stolen last year was the second most since the Federal Trade Commission began counting.

About one in 20 people are victims, roughly more than five percent.

With more information out there about Internet security the problem may come as a surprise, but not to WVU professor Dr. Roy Nutter.

"There is more of us online, more of us doing things with electronics," Dr. Nutter said. "That goes for the bad guys as well. It's a lot easier to steal something by sitting at your keyboard than it is going down to the bank."

Dr. Nutter said identity theft is costing each victim around $300, and stopping it may ultimately be out of their hands, adding that often the information is stolen from the computers of places you do business with, many times in a large batch of information.

"If they're stealing the credentials from that end you have no control over it, and it's gone, whether or not you wanted it to be or not," Dr. Nutter said.

Nutter adds that securing your money on your end begins with strong passwords, using secure browsers and networks. But said every electronic action whether online or by credit card comes with risk.

"Is it secured? The best they can, but every day there is a new vector of attack that someone has found that can make your information vulnerable," Dr. Nutter said.

Keeping an eye on your credit card and bank accounts will help you know if your money is safe. Visit the Federal Trade Commission's website for more on keeping your money safe, and what do to if you become a victim.