Don’t let them catch you . . .

Frank Abagnale

Security expert and former identity thief Frank Abagnale offered the following tips to preventing identity theft during his talk Saturday morning at the King Kamehameha Golf Club in Waikapu as part of AARP’s Fraud Watch Network.

• Shred mail and personal documents. Use a microcut shredder. Shredders that cut documents in strips do not prevent theft. Documents cut in strips or rectangular shapes can easily be put back together.

• Use a credit monitoring service.

• Do not use personal checks. Checks contain personal information such as name, address and phone number. Checks also contain the owner’s account number, bank and routing numbers and can be easily duplicated.

• Use a credit card instead of a debit card. Abagnale uses his credit card because, he says, if $1 million is stolen from his card, by federal law, his liability is zero. Debit cards are linked directly to bank accounts, meaning cardholders risk losing their own money. Abagnale added that his credit score goes up due to his credit card use and payment.