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Gordon-Booth Warns Residents of Identity Theft Scam

PEORIA, Ill. – State Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth, D-Peoria, is urging residents to check their email carefully to avoid a dangerous new cyber scam that can infect computers with malware and compromise personal information.

With the amount of email we receive on a daily basis, it is easy to open on the wrong message, click on a bad link and fall victim to identity theft,” Gordon-Booth said. “It is extremely important that we surf the internet cautiously to protect ourselves.”

Recently, parents have been receiving emails warning them that a child predator has moved into their neighborhood, directing recipients to click on a URL for more information.  Following this link directs the user to a site that can infect their computer with malware, allowing identity thieves access to the recipient’s personal and financial information, before directing the reader to the homepage of a business accredited by the Better Business Bureau, which sells reports on the presence of local sex offenders.  According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, over 16 million people were victims of identity theft in 2012. This number continues to grow every year as new schemes are devised to steal increasing amounts of sensitive data.

A free, publicly accessible registry of convicted sex offenders can be found by visiting the Illinois State Police’s website at http://www.isp.state.il.us/sor/.

More information about identity theft prevention and filing a complaint is available through the Illinois Attorney General’s office at http://www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/consumers/hotline.html.

When parents see information that is supposed to help protect their children, it is easy to overlook other possible dangers,” Gordon-Booth added. “There are many free and easily accessible resources available to help them keep their families safe. If you need any help finding these resources, please contact my office.”

For more information, contact Gordon-Booth’s full-time constituent service office at 309-681-1992 or by email at repjgordon@gmail.com.