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Identity Theft in Washington

Washington State has the 15th highest rate of identity theft in America, with 77.2 reported cases for every 100,000 residents in the population. While this might not sound like an alarming number, the more than 5,000 people who were victimized in this way in a recent year are well aware of identity theft's costly, time-consuming impact on an individual's life.

When a person's identity is stolen, it can lead to difficulties in obtaining credit for mortgages or other loans, in passing a credit check needed to rent an apartment, or even in filing taxes, as the IRS is reporting an increasing number of tax-related identity theft cases where fraudulent returns are filed and the refund is taken by the criminal who submitted it rather than received by the taxpayer. At worst, every year a number of people are falsely imprisoned for crimes committed by people who used stolen identities as aliases while conducting their illegal activities.

Fortunately, there are ways to prevent identity theft. One simple method is to use strong passwords on both online accounts and to lock phones and other mobile devices; such passwords usually use a string of letters and numbers in a combination meaningful to the user but nearly impossible to guess at random. Another strategy is to learn to recognize impostors online and offline: those who are hoping to get social security numbers, account information, and other pieces of data by pretending to be a trusted business or governmental agency.

When in doubt, Washington residents should use customer service numbers provided on account statements or on the back of credit cards, or log directly into their accounts by entering the URL directly rather than clicking on links provided in emails. They should also be aware that most companies will not ask for such information to ever be disclosed over the phone unless such calls are initiated by the customer.

In addition, Identity Theft Protection services are available to Washington citizens who would like the added layer of safeguards offered by having 24-hour monitoring of their personal information.

 

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Identity Theft In The News

Identity theft: Banking has changed, criminals haven't - here's how to protect your money

This year marks a decade since the financial crisis. The biggest financial institutions still dominate the landscape, but banking has changed. Mobile banking now plays a significant role in how we man...

Published:  Sun, 15 Jul 2018 04:06:00 GMT



To Catch A Thief - Lessons We Can All Learn From Demi Moore's Identity Theft Drama

The recent film Ocean's 8 is the story of a group of thieves that steal a priceless necklace from a famous movie actress, in plain sight. A series of cons are pulled off that enable the heist to occur ...

Published:  Fri, 13 Jul 2018 02:08:00 GMT



Suspects wanted for identity theft and stealing two vehicles

BULLHEAD CITY - Local law enforcement agencies are searching for suspects wanted for identity theft and stealing two vehicles from a local car dealership. The two vehicles were fraudulently purchased ...

Published:  Fri, 13 Jul 2018 14:03:00 GMT



Your identity was stolen. Now what do you do

ORLANDO, Fla. - If you suspect you're a victim of identity theft or your personal documents were stolen, taking these steps will help you recover and prevent your identity from being used fraudulently ...

Published:  Sun, 15 Jul 2018 12:46:00 GMT



MHA to host internet safety, identity theft protection workshop

UTICA - The Utica Municipal Housing Authority will sponsor a workshop on identity theft protection and internet safety at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Utica Public Library. The event is free and open to the ...

Published:  Sun, 15 Jul 2018 06:22:00 GMT



Shred-a-thon helps food bank and in preventing identity theft

DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) --There was a shred-a-thon at SunSouth bank on Friday. They partnered with the Wiregrass Rehab Center to offer a safe way to get rid of residents sensitive documents. They were als...

Published:  Fri, 13 Jul 2018 15:57:00 GMT




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