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In a typical year, more than 2,700 Wisconsin residents report being victims of identity theft. While the overall rate for the state is thirteenth lowest in the nation at a rate of 49.1 cases per 100,000 people in the population, for those affected by this type of crime it is often painful, expensive, and time-consuming to recover from its impact. Identity theft can result in a loss of money as bank accounts are drained before account owners can prevent it, a loss of employment as background checks turn up crimes committed using someone else's name, and even imprisonment for those crimes under a stolen identity.
Taxpayers are also impacted by identity theft, as the IRS reports an increase in fraudulent tax returns. In these situations, criminals file a tax return using a stolen social security number and claim the return, often going undetected until taxpayers attempt to file an honest return and learn that one has already been filed earlier in the year.
Wisconsin residents can choose to do several things to better safeguard their information and be less likely to experience the negative effects of identity theft. First, Identity Theft Protection services provide customers with 24-hour monitoring of personal data such as birth dates, credit accounts, and social security numbers; customers get greater peace of mind knowing that any attempt to use their identity fraudulently will be noticed immediately and blocked before it becomes a larger problem. Next, Wisconsinites should make sure to use passwords that are difficult to guess (i.e. not the word "password", names of family members, or phone numbers) both on their laptops and other devices as well as their online accounts. Finally, any documents containing identifying information - bank statements, receipts, medical statements, and others - should be shredded prior to being recycled or thrown out.
In this manner, most Wisconsin residents have a better chance of avoiding the invasive crime of identity theft.
Identity Theft In The News
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
(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
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
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
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
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