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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

2 arrested for drug charges, felony identity theft

51-year-old Lana Murphy and 39-year-old Bennie Coplin were arrested Friday and charged with felony identity theft 51-year-old Lana Murphy and 39-year-old Bennie Coplin were arrested Friday and charged ...

Published:  Fri, 15 Feb 2019 15:47:00 GMT



Raoul, 30 other AGs urge FTC to tighten identity theft protections

SPRINGFIELD - Thirty-one state attorneys general, including Illinois' Kwame Raoul, are advocating for tougher safeguards against identity theft in the Federal Trade Commission's rulebook. "We must kee...

Published:  Thu, 14 Feb 2019 23:25:00 GMT



Petersburg fights child identity theft in Minnesota

Identity theft is a growing problem across the United States and in Minnesota - a crime that is difficult to detect and hard to rectify. But even as consumers become more alert and protected against t...

Published:  Tue, 12 Feb 2019 17:47:00 GMT



Business identity theft costing companies millions

(NBC) - "It's really easy for an attacker to impersonate a business," said Brain Vecci, cyber security professional with Varonis. Imagine criminals taking over your company and running it as their own ...

Published:  Fri, 15 Feb 2019 10:06:00 GMT



ID Sought In Credit Card Theft At Marquee Theatre In Toms River

TOMS RIVER, NJ - Toms River police are seeking the public's help in identifying a man in connection with a credit card theft that happened Feb. 8. The man, seen in video below, appears to be in ...

Published:  Fri, 15 Feb 2019 09:41:00 GMT



Frosh signs letter to strengthen identity theft rules

Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh (D) joined 30 other state attorneys general in a letter sent to the Federal Trade Commission Feb. 10 urging the FTC to continue its Identity Theft Rules, origi...

Published:  Thu, 14 Feb 2019 21:19:00 GMT



AG urges feds to continue identity theft rules

Attorney General Kwame Raoul has joined a coalition of 30 other attorneys general in sending a letter to the Federal Trade Commission urging it to continue its Identity Theft rules originally adopted ...

Published:  Thu, 14 Feb 2019 08:00:00 GMT



Police blotter: Identity theft and assault charges in Stamford

A 33-year-old Mount Vernon, NY man was charged with credit card theft, larceny and conspiracy to commit credit card theft. A 55-year-old Mount Vernon, NY man was charged with burglary, larceny, credit ...

Published:  Wed, 13 Feb 2019 12:21:00 GMT



Avoiding Identity Theft Discussed at Montville Township Public Library

MONTVILLE, NJ - When you're the victim of identity theft, you'll know right away because something will have been stolen, such as your wallet and credit cards, right Wrong, said Margaret Sanchez, who ...

Published:  Tue, 12 Feb 2019 14:10:00 GMT



2 arrested with 100 fake credit cards at Costa Mesa hotel plead not guilty in ID theft and fraud case

A man and a woman accused of trying to use forged credit cards to rack up more than $1,600 in charges at a Costa Mesa hotel pleaded not guilty to felony and misdemeanor charges Friday. Aaron Michael G...

Published:  Mon, 11 Feb 2019 19:35:00 GMT




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