The Anna Chamber of Commerce hosted its monthly networking breakfast on Feb. 2. For February’s breakfast, Sheryl Powers was the guest presenter for the mingling event.

Powers, who has been an independent consultant for Legal Shield for the past three years, started advising people on how to protect their identity and finances when she faced a financial crisis that was completely out of her hands. Powers said that event changed her life.

“I have a 30-year radio sales and marketing background,” Powers said. “In 2013 I felt it was time to own my own business and having had such an outstanding experience as a Legal Shield/ID Shield member, my husband and I decided to make it our life’s mission to give Americans the same legal hope we’d found in 2009 when we became members after falling victim to the 2008 housing crash.”

During Powers’ presentation, she revealed identity theft is the top complaint for consumers through the Federal Trade Commission for the past 16 years. Powers also pointed out that identity theft entails more than just a name and social security number. Hackers can also use and abuse one’s medical insurance, 401K savings, legal backgrounds and other methods.

Powers said with her advising and through her shared knowledge, consumers can have a fighting chance against hackers and scammers. In her presentation, Powers advised attendees to never write their social security numbers down and to never carry too many credit cards.

Even though there are many legal avenues a consumer can do, Powers said she is the defense line between the consumer and system.

“The American justice system isn’t always ‘justice for all,’” she said. “Many times justice is green; he who has the most money in court wins. We help level the playing field by providing unlimited access to fraud investigators and top law firms nationwide so American families have a fighting chance.”

Powers said local networking meetings are places where good opportunities happen, and she hoped at least one guest learned something from her presentation.

“Anna Chamber Executive Director Kevin Hall and I met through another local networking event with the County Line Referral Group,” Powers said. “I have great appreciation for Kevin’s charge to empower and expand the small businesses in the Anna area, so when he asked if I’d be interested in sharing what’s happening in today’s world of ID Theft, I jumped at the opportunity. If everyone who attended last week’s breakfast left a little more aware and prepared, then I’ve accomplished my mission.”

Robin Pierson, an insurance agent and guest at the networking breakfast said Powers succeeded in her quest to inform the attendees.

“Powers did a great job engaging the audience during her presentation on identity theft,” Pierson said. “I think each of us walked away with ideas on how to better protect ourselves personally in addition to best practices to use in our business.”