LIVINGSTON, NJ — Regal Bank, headquartered at 570 W. Mt. Pleasant Avenue in Livingston, hosted April’s “Breakfast on the Road” monthly breakfast meeting of the Livingston Area Chamber of Commerce (LACC) on Thursday.

The host of these monthly breakfast rotates hosts among LACC members to provide networking opportunities as well as discussions on important topics, like Thursday’s theme of identity theft.

Regal Bank’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) Daniel Tower gave a personal testimony as he provided tips and tricks to avoid identity theft. He also spoke to the severity of it and how hard it is to undo identity theft once it has occurred.

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“Identity theft is scary,” said LACC President Ira Drucks. “Even a CEO of a bank can be targeted who deals with customer security on a daily basis. Almost all that attended our breakfast had a story about how their credit card or other identity was attacked.”

According to Tower, who gave an account of how he was a victim of identity theft, said identity theft is one of the largest criminal activities and is a major focus of every federal agency.

In his account, he said he never received his credit cards in the mail and was shortly thereafter visited by an FBI agent, who showed him copies of all his identification with someone else’s picture. It was a Nigerian identity theft ring, he said.

“I decided I had to do something about this to protect myself,” said Tower, who now subscribes to Experian. “And that is why I think identity theft is something that you all should be acutely aware of and very proactive in trying to prevent. As local business owners, your identity is your business and your business is your identity.”

He also advised guests to always question whether the asking person really needs their social security number before giving it out.

Among the nearly two-dozen attendees was new LACC member Bridget Sorenson from International Planning Alliance. The LACC also welcomed Marcy Burach, the new Marketing Director at CareOne Livingston, who attended a chamber meeting for the first time in her new position.

“The chamber events are not only a great networking opportunity but you always walk away with some valuable information and this morning’s discussion on identity theft presented by Regal Bank was no exception,” said Burach.

Drucks also announced the launch of the LACC newest program, the “Lunch & Learn Series,” which will officially launch on May 23 and will be hosted on the fourth Thursday of every month.  

The hour-and fifteen-minute event will include lunch, networking and a 30-minute presentation on a topic geared toward helping local business professionals develop and grow, according to Drucks. The workshops will focus on more advanced topics and challenges common to established small and local businesses.

Upcoming topics include: “Why Every Business Needs a PR Strategy,” “Networking: the Right Way to Do it,” “Small Group Health Insurance: What the Heck is Going On?”

The series is free for chamber members, their guests and prospective members.

Those interested in attending should RSVP to Beth Lippman at info@livingstonchambernj.com.