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Identity Theft in Massachusetts

Living in the state of Massachusetts, your likelihood of becoming the victim of identity theft falls exactly in the middle of the charts: 25th highest in the nation, with 69 out of every 100,000 residents reporting this crime in an average year. While this may not sound like much of a risk, for the more than 4,500 Massachusetts citizens who reported identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission in a recent 12-month period, their lives were severely impacted by the theft of their personal information..

Identity theft harms victims in many ways. Because such crimes often go unnoticed for weeks, months, even years, Massachusetts residents may have trouble getting a mortgage for a home purchase, an automobile loan, or even an apartment to rent because they had no idea that someone was using their information fraudulently. Criminals use social security numbers, birth dates, driver's license numbers, and other stolen data to obtain medical care, to open multiple lines of credit for making thousands of dollars in purchases, or even to get a job using someone else's "clean" identity.

Fortunately, people in Massachusetts can protect themselves against identity theft. First, there are a number of reputable, affordable Identity Theft Protection companies whose services include 24-hour monitoring of customers' personal information, so that any unauthorized activity or transactions are detected and blocked promptly. Next, some simple changes in personal habits can be effective in deterring identity thieves. Such changes include shredding documents containing identifying information rather than throwing them in the garbage or recycling them; making sure to only provide social security numbers when absolutely required, and even in those circumstances ascertaining how that information will be both used and protected by the business requesting it; and being sure to not disclose too many personal details on social media sites, so as to not give would-be criminals enough information to steal bank accounts or even answer "challenge" questions correctly.


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Identity Theft In The News

Missouri sheriff pleads guilty to wire fraud and identity theft, now must resign

ST. LOUIS " Mississippi County Sheriff Cory Hutcheson pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court to charges of using people's cellphone numbers to track their whereabouts. Cory Hutcheson, 35, struck a pl...

Published:  Tue, 20 Nov 2018 11:33:00 GMT

Visalia police search for credit card fraud, identity theft victims after suspect is arrested

The search is on for more victims after a three-month long investigation led to the arrest of a Visalia woman for credit card fraud and identity theft. 61-year-old Patricia Blackwell was a self ...

Published:  Tue, 20 Nov 2018 05:28:00 GMT

Get online deals without becoming a victim of identity theft or fraud

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Online shopping is a simple way to get through your holiday gift list, but you'll want to focus more on protecting your personal information than getting the best price. It's t...

Published:  Tue, 20 Nov 2018 13:46:00 GMT

Former IRS employee in Georgia sentenced for identity theft

A former employee for the Internal Revenue Service in Atlanta has been sentenced to two years in prison after she pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft. On at least five occasions, Stephanie Par...

Published:  Mon, 19 Nov 2018 21:46:00 GMT

Cape Investment Adviser Pleads Guilty To Fraud, Identity Theft

ORLEANS, MA - An investment adviser from Cape Cod admitted to defrauding her clients of more than $3 million in federal court Monday. Kimberly Kitts, 51, pleaded guilty to investment adviser ...

Published:  Tue, 20 Nov 2018 07:03:00 GMT

SLO County Sheriff looking for 2 identity theft suspects

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office is investigating a case of identity theft and has surveillance photos of two female suspects. The two women are believed to have used a stolen credit ...

Published:  Tue, 20 Nov 2018 17:24:00 GMT

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