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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

Former IRS employee in Georgia sentenced for identity theft

ATLANTA (AP) - A former employee for the Internal Revenue Service in Atlanta has been sentenced to two years in prison after she pleaded guilty aggravated identity theft. The U.S. Justice Department s...

Published:  Fri, 16 Nov 2018 11:09:00 GMT



Krieger sentenced to prison for embezzlement and identity theft

(HELENA) that Katherine Marie Krieger of Helena was sentenced to 57 months in federal prison, three years supervised release, and ordered to pay $236,924.17 restitution for stealing a person's identit...

Published:  Fri, 16 Nov 2018 14:35:00 GMT



Madison man sentenced to 2 years in identity theft case

A Madison man was sentenced to two years in federal prison on Thursday for stealing the identity of a eBay user so he could sell non-existent items on the website. James Dudgeon, 60, was sentenced by ...

Published:  Fri, 16 Nov 2018 09:16:00 GMT



Around the Web: Dry Leather. Secret Envelopes. Movies and Typography. Eyewitness Alexa. Informed Identity Theft. Farewell, Mon Kg

Consumers increasingly want eco-friendly products. Now, Swiss specialty textile effects company HeiQ has partnered with DuPont to deliver this for leather goods-a PFC-free water repellent. The compani...

Published:  Fri, 16 Nov 2018 03:07:00 GMT



Central Texas traffic stop leads to identity theft arrests

LAMPASAS, Texas (KWTX) Two men were arrested after a search of a car after an early-morning traffic stop Wednesday in Lampasas turned up a credit card skimmer and stolen credit and debit cards, police ...

Published:  Thu, 15 Nov 2018 13:27:00 GMT



Financial Education Benefits Center: The Best and Worst States for Identity Theft and Fraud

SAN RAMON, Calif., November 15, 2018 (Newswire.com) - Consumer data breaches are nothing new. In 2018, alone, cybercriminals compromised the information of customers at Sears, Macy's, Kmart, Delta and ...

Published:  Thu, 15 Nov 2018 05:18:00 GMT



UCSO arrest man on theft charges

Joshua Ray Fitzpatrick, 39, was arrested Wednesday on charges of fraudulent use of a credit card, identity theft, theft of services, first-degree theft and theft of mislaid property from incidents tha...

Published:  Fri, 16 Nov 2018 10:31:00 GMT



4 tips for preventing identity theft during the holidays

Some people love taking what doesn't belong to them. During the holidays this year, be extra careful to make sure that you're keeping your finances safe from shady individuals. Here are four tips for ...

Published:  Thu, 15 Nov 2018 01:45:00 GMT



Accused burglar now facing identity theft charges

BARRE - A Granite City man facing multiple burglary charges is now accused of identity theft. Sean Allan Stearns, 40, pleaded not guilty Thursday in Washington County criminal court in Barre to eight ...

Published:  Thu, 15 Nov 2018 16:38:00 GMT



Local woman targeted, tailed, and impersonated in low tech ID theft scheme

In the age of high tech cyber-crime and digital identity theft, some of the savviest crooks are using old-school low-tech spy tricks to target women - especially moms - as part of a nationwide ...

Published:  Fri, 16 Nov 2018 11:41:00 GMT




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