(Jan. 31, 2020) The Ocean Pines Recreation and Parks Department will give area residents an opportunity to learn how to protect themselves from identity theft at a free seminar on Wednesday, Feb. 5 from 5-6:30 p.m. at the Ocean Pines Community Center, located at 235 Ocean Parkway.

According to the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book, 1.4 million fraud reports were filed in 2018, representing $1.48 billion in total losses. Close to 15 percent of those reports were for identity theft.

“Identity theft is America’s fastest-growing crime,” said Katie Goetzinger, an Ocean Pines recreation programmer. “Come learn what to do before and after a breach of your identity.”

Leading the seminar will be certified senior advisor Michael LeCompte. LeCompte has a master of science degree in loss control science and retired from Nationwide Insurance Companies as a senior loss control consultant. He has been a regional award-winning speaker on reducing personal loss for 20 years.

Seminar participants will hear how to safeguard personal information and detect suspicious activity. Advice on how to find a resolution to an identity theft situation and restore a victim’s good name will also be given.

For those unable to attend the February seminar, a session on April 1 from 5-6:30 p.m. will be offered.

This seminar is free and open to the public, but spaces are limited and advance registration is required. To register, call the Ocean Pines Recreation and Parks Department at 410-641-7052.

Information regarding additional recreational programs, including an online version of the Ocean Pines Activity Guide, is available at OceanPines.org.

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