Local nonprofit Family Services Inc. will be hosting a free event Thursday evening to teach folks how to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft as well as how to fix previous instances of theft.

The event will run from from 6 to 8 p.m. at 4925 Lacross Road, Suite 105, North Charleston. The event is open to the public, but registration is recommended. You can register online at www.fsisc.org/events or by calling 735-7862.

Last week, South Carolina residents learned of a cyber-hacking security breach at the state Department of Revenue, compromising the personal information of more than 3 million citizens. The government has issued instructions on identity protection, but residents still require long-term solutions.

Identity manipulation and theft victimizes more than 15 million U.S. residents each year. This means seven percent of all adults are victims, with financial losses totaling near $50 billion, according to Family Services.

Agency workers will be on hand to show participants how to protect your credit, Social Security number and other personal information. “If you feel or know that your information has been compromised, you can work with one of our licensed credit counselors to figure out next steps,” Randrea Majors-Graham, homebuyer and credit counseling manager, said.

Protection from identity theft should include children as well, the agency cautions.