Business & Finance

Tips on Avoiding Identity Theft Discussed at Towaco Civic Association Meeting

Chris DeSimone Speaks about Identity Theft at the TCA Meeting Credits: Melissa Benno

MONTVILLE, NJ – Creating complicated passwords that are different for every site and protecting one’s driver’s license were just some of the advice Towaco Civic Association members were given at the Jan. 18 meeting. Chris DeSimone of American Century Investments spoke about identity theft.

“Protecting your driver’s license is important because of ‘cloning,’” DeSimone said. “Thieves can create a new driver’s license with your name but their photo. If thieves take your driver’s license and your Medicare card – which has your Social Security number on it, now they have everything they need.”

DeSimone encouraged members to write the amount for checks on the very far left margin of the “amount” line, to check children’s credit scores regularly, and to file one’s taxes early with a personal identification number so that no one can file using your name, to avoid financial fraud. He encouraged members to not leave health care provider forms face-up after filling them out, because they contain personal information that thieves can steal by simply walking by and seeing the forms on the clipboard.

Sign Up for E-News

“But a lot of identity theft is done the old-fashioned way,” DeSimone said. “Thieves steak your mail out of the garbage, or steal your wallet. Shredding is important.”

Montville Township runs shredding events four times a year which are free for residents. The next event will be held April 9 from 9 a.m. until noon.

Identity theft is harder to do via social media, but users need to be aware of what they post, DeSimone said.

“Google knows everything about you – traffic updates are because of all those phones in one place!” he said.

By using maiden names, children’s names and pet names as passwords, or posting that they are not at home, social media users are helping identity thieves, DeSimone said.

“Make sure your privacy settings are set to ‘Friends only,’” he said.

DeSimone suggested using different passwords for various websites, not using one’s month or year of birth and using a capital letter with a symbol (#$%^) in a password to make it tougher to hack. He recommended a password manager application.

DeSimone also warned against clicking directly on links contained in emails.

“You might get an email that really looks like it’s from your bank, or your employer,” he said. “It may look legit. It might have the correct logos and font. It asks you for more information about yourself, or to change your password. But never click on the link. Instead, go to a new tab and go to the website yourself.”

Scammers may also try to trick you into revealing personal information over the phone, DeSimone said.

“They may call you and threaten that they’re going to close your account, and your caller I.D. may say it’s from a well known company,” DeSimone said. “Just hang up.”

DeSimone also advised making a strong password for the wifi in members’ households, using an Apple personal computer (“there’s not as many people trying to write viruses for them”) and protecting one’s phone with fingerprint technology. He told members to empty out their wallets of items such as frequent flyer cards, health club cards and other unnecessary items, because thieves will call and try to get personal information based off the numbers and information contained on the cards. He especially recommended not leaving credit card information stored on websites.

If one is a victim of identity theft, DeSimone recommended closing all accounts, filing a police report, and contacting the credit agencies to lock down your credit information. He recommended documenting everything via email and getting names of contacts.

“Protect your documents, like your tax returns, birth certificates, and your insurance policy,” DeSimone said. “Don’t let your mail sit in your mailbox.”

“I really learned a lot of great tips,” said TCA President Kimberly Bott. “I’d like to thank TCA member Roger Moss of Montville Financial in Towaco for bringing in Mr. DeSimone.”

Authorized by federal law, every year a free credit report can be obtained from each credit reporting company. Click here for more information: Credit Report.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events


Thu, June 21, 1:00 PM

Montville Township Public Library, Montville

"The American Musical" (Lecture)



Thu, June 21, 7:00 PM

Pyramid Mountain, Montville Township

Summer Solstice Hike: moderate

Health & Wellness


Sat, June 23, 10:00 AM

Montville Township Public Library, Montville

Library - Summer Reading Kickoff (Kids)



Sat, June 23, 10:00 AM

CASA of Morris and Sussex Counties, Morristown

CASA Information Session

Education Health & Wellness Law & Justice


Sat, June 23, 10:00 AM

Pyramid Mountain, Montville Township

Gardening with Wildflowers

Home & Garden

Summer Concert Series Announced by Montville Twp Recreation

June 16, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ – The Montville Township Recreation Department announced its summer concerts in the park lineup. The free concerts will be held on Tuesdays beginning on July 10, at the amphitheater beyond the Montville Township Public Library. Parking is available at the library (90 Horseneck Road) or in the high school parking lot (100 Horseneck Road). Assistance is available, for those who ...

Three Montville Teens Attain Eagle Scout Ranking

June 9, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ – Three Boy Scouts from Montville Township’s Troop 74 attained their Eagle Scout ranking at their Court of Honor, held on May 5 at the Senior House.

Keith Lo, Harish Rajagopal and Charles J. Roy all completed tasks around the township, which combined with the projects of other Eagle Scouts, have saved tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars, Township Administrator ...

May the Fourth Results in Donations to Lung Cancer Foundation from Cedar Hill Character Education Group

June 16, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ – The Cedar Hill Fifth Grade Character Education Council sponsored May The 4th Be With You on Friday May 4 from in the Cedar Hill multi-purpose room. The event was to benefit the Lung Cancer Foundation of America. To raise money, each participant paid $5 for a Star Wars-themed scorecard. Upon completion of all events, scorecards were put in a raffle for a Star Wars video ...

Roxbury's Kellie Ann Keyes Named the County's Recycling "Rox-Star"

June 18, 2018

ROXBURY, NJ – Kellie Ann Keyes, who runs Roxbury's recycling program was honored recently by Morris County for her efforts, with the county dubbing her its “Rox-Star Recycler.”

Keyes was one of 10 people and businesses to receive a 2018 Environmental Excellence Award from the Morris County Municipal Utilities Authority (MUA). The MUA gave her the award in ...

Bridgewater Mall Shut Down After Fight; Report of Shots Fired

June 14, 2018

UPDATE: According to a Nixle alert from the Bridgewater Township Police Department at 9 p.m., the investigation at the mall has been completed, and the mall will be resuming normal business operations.

Police emphasized that there is no immediate threat to the public and no injuries were reported.

TAPinto will update this as more information becomes available.


RE/MAX Neighborhood Properties New Listings

June 20, 2018

Click HERE to see all New Listings.


OPEN HOUSES This Weekend 6/16 - 6/17, 2018

The following homes have OPEN HOUSES presented by RE/MAX NEIGHBORHOOD PROPERTIES this weekend.

SATURDAY, JUNE 16, 2018:

  From 12 - 2 p.m.

  201 English Place, Bernards Township

  Click HERE to see full listing.



SUNDAY, JUNE 17, 2018:

  From 1 - 3 p.m.

  170 Morris Avenue, Mountain Lakes

  Click HERE to see full ...

OPEN HOUSES This Weekend 6/9 - 6/10 2018

The following homes have OPEN HOUSES presented by RE/MAX Neighborhood Properties this weekend.


  From 1 - 3 p.m.

  25 Hillcrest Road, Mountain Lakes

  Click HERE to see full listing.



SUNDAY, JUNE 10, 2018:

  From 1 - 4 p.m.

  1 Philhower Court, Denville

   Click HERE to see full ...

Century 21 Open Houses this Weekend

MONTVILLE, NJ - Following are the Century 21 Open Houses for this weekend:

Saturday, June 9 from 1 - 4 p.m.

Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using GPS - Enter 66 Two Bridges Road)
7 Diann Drive, Montville

Sunday, June 10 from 1 - 4 p.m.

Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using GPS - Enter 66 Two Bridges Road)
3 Louis ...

Pet Corner