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S.C. Treasurer Curtis Loftis will speak at Sun City Carolina Lakes at 9 a.m. Monday, Sept. 17, as part of his Safe, Smart & Secure financial forums around the state this week.
Loftis’ ongoing financial-literacy tour focuses on fraudprevention techniques.
Loftis said in a press release the forums are designed to inform the public about ways to protect themselves against financial fraud and identity theft.
According to 2011 research by Consumer Reports, fraud costs the financial industry in the United States approximately $80 billion each year, with credit and debit card issuers alone losing more than $2.4 billion. For individual victims of fraud, the experience can be costly, take years to resolve and lead to identity theft.
Approximately 12 million United States residents reported their identities were used fraudulently in 2011, with financial losses totaling almost $50 billion. Statistics show that about 7 percent of all adults have their identities misused with each instance resulting in an average loss of $3,500 per person.
South Carolina ranks 20th nationwide in per capita identity theft complaints, according to a study by Javelin Strategy and Research.
“The treasurer’s office handles millions of dollars daily,” Loftis said. “Security is our top priority and it is important we share financial-security strategies which can be used by the general public.
“Technology is an efficient tool for financial transactions but it is vital we understand how to keep our information and accounts secure. Our Safe, Smart and Secure events will empower people to make sure they’re protected,” he said.
Loftis will also hold forums in Bluffton, Charleston and Columbia in the upcoming days.
Industry experts from MasterCard and AARP will also be available to answer questions and address concerns at each forum.