NAPERVILLE, Ill. — Americans lost more than $548 million to identity thieves and consumer fraud last year and Hawthorne Credit Union is doing its part to help its members stem the tide.

The credit union recently hosted a Shred It Day event that included a seminar entitled "Protecting Yourself From Identity Theft" and doorprize giveaways of automatic paper shredders.

"Identity theft is America's fastest growing crime, and the best way to protect yourself from being victimized is by educating yourself about potential risks and properly disposing of personal documents," said EJ Donaghey, Hawthorne executive vice president. "Careful document storage and disposal, combined with regular credit report checks, is an effective way to safeguard your personal financial information and reduce the threat of fraud."

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