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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

Doctor-poser pleads guilty, gets 6 years in fraud, ID theft

FAYETTEVILLE - A woman who claimed she was a doctor to scam patients, including some in Northwest Arkansas, was sentenced in Alabama to more than six years in federal prison after she pleaded guilty to charges that included wire fraud and identity theft.

Published:  Mon, 21 May 2018 02:12:00 GMT



That royal wedding quiz filling your Facebook could put you at risk for identity theft

We tested Alexa, Siri and Google Home to see which digital assistant knows most about the Royal Wedding. USA TODAY SAN FRANCISCO - A funny as Lord Carpenter Rover of Sunnyside might sound, please don't reply to a Facebook prompt asking you to create ...

Published:  Thu, 17 May 2018 16:24:00 GMT



Keeping kids safe: Protecting your child's identity

LOOK AT YOUR SCREEN. ABOUT 1 TO 3 MILLION CHILDREN ARE AFFECTED BY CHILDHOOD IDENTITY THEFT. 50% ARE YOUNGER THAN SIX YEARS OLD ACCORDING TO TO ROBERT CHAPELL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER AND AUTHOR OF CHILD IDENTITY THEFT WHAT EVERY PARENT NEEDS TO KNOW.

Published:  Fri, 18 May 2018 04:22:00 GMT



'Do you believe I faked my own life': Valley officer on hunt for thief who stole his identity

MARICOPA - Maricopa Police officer Ricardo Alvarado has a case that's stumped him for 12 years. An identity theft case. It's his identity theft case. When he tries to apply for credit or a loan, it turns into a full blown interrogation by lenders who make ...

Published:  Fri, 18 May 2018 03:29:00 GMT



NYC woman charged with ID theft in Westchester

CORTLANDT - State Police from the Cortlandt barracks arrested Noralisa Diaz, 30, of Brooklyn, for Identity Theft and Grand Larceny, both as felonies. In January, victims had a fraudulent withdrawal of $8,000 from personal bank accounts. Investigation ...

Published:  Sun, 20 May 2018 02:38:00 GMT



Enid Police seeks identity of shoplifters

Enid Police Department is asking the public for help in identifying a pair of shoplifters. On May 15, a theft occurred at Jumbo Food, 2311 W. Willow. The reporting party said on May 15 a man and woman entered the store and took two 5-pound packages of meat ...

Published:  Mon, 21 May 2018 02:12:00 GMT



Royal Wedding Facebook Quiz Puts You at Risk for Identity Theft

If you use Facebook, you're probably no stranger to personality quizzes and text-based prompts littering your News Feed. For some, they're fun. For others, they're annoying. But, at least in one recent case, they can also increase your risk of ...

Published:  Fri, 18 May 2018 14:24:00 GMT



FOX10 Shred Event: Helping protect you from identity theft

FOX10 News is committed to our community. On Saturday, you'll have another chance to shred important documents to help protect your identity. Our second "Shred Event" of the year kicks off at 8 a.m. at Hank Aaron Stadium and lasts until noon. We had such ...

Published:  Fri, 18 May 2018 13:49:00 GMT



Outrage, frustration, exhaustion | What happens when your identity is stolen

I love telling stories" just not my own. But when I became a victim of identity theft, my boss asked me to document the experience. I envisioned some boring video of me making phone calls (and there was plenty of that) but honestly, I had no idea what I ...

Published:  Sat, 19 May 2018 15:34:00 GMT




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