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AG joins in efforts to help military avoid ID theft

Attorney General George Jepsen announced Monday that he is joining with the Federal Trade Commission, private sector groups and consumer protection organizations for the second annual Military Consumer Protection Day on Wednesday to help prevent military service members and veterans from falling victim to identity theft and fraud.

"Our veterans and military families protect us both at home and abroad," Jepsen said. "We owe it to them to keep them safe and informed when it comes to helping to manage their families' finances, dodging deceptive scams and avoiding potentially fraudulent practices."

The FTC reported more than 62,000 consumer complaints from military service members, military families and veterans in 2012.

Military Consumer Protection Day aims to increase service members' and veterans' awareness about fraud, scams and managing finances. The state attorneys general and the FTC have come together to provide free resources and tips.

Jepsen said he encourages veterans and service members to protect their identity by using tips such as shredding papers that contain personal information and guarding their passwords and PINs used for online banking. Jepsen recommended not giving out personal information over the phone if the caller doesn't sound like he or she is from a legitimate government entity or bank, and leaving Social Security cards at home.

"Be vigilant and always remember: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is," the release said. A town hall Twitter chat will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday by submitting questions using the hashtag #MCPD2014. More information is available at military.ncpw.gov and www.ct.gov/AG.

j.somers@theday.com

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