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Identity Theft in Washington

Washington MapWashington 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.


Bill Would Provide Lifetime Identity Protection to Feds Affected By OPM Data Breach

Two Washington-area Democrats have proposed a measure that would extend the identity theft protection offered to victims of the 2015 Office of Personnel Management data breach to last for life. Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md., and Del. Eleanor Holmes ...

Published:  Mon, 14 May 2018 13:24:00 GMT

FICO Professor Howe Alerts Stoneberry, Citibank, Massillon Police, and Others of Synthetic Child Credit Report, ID Theft, and Federal Application Fraud, SubscriberWise Confirms

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--SubscriberWise, the nation's largest issuing CRA for the communications industry and the leading protector of children victimized by identity fraud, announced today the confirmation of a suspected child identity theft and ...

Published:  Sat, 19 May 2018 09:38:00 GMT

Former Arkansas IRS agent sentenced for identity theft

(AP) - A former Internal Revenue Service agent in Arkansas has been sentenced to more than four years in federal prison for identity theft. Federal court records ... Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click to Read More and View Comments Click ...

Published:  Sun, 13 May 2018 13:40:00 GMT Owners Arrested on Extortion Charges

On Wednesday, Sahar Sarid, Thomas Keesee and Kishore Vidya Bhavnanie, three out of the four alleged owners of, were arrested and charged with extortion, money laundering, and identity theft, according to the Washington Post. The infamous ...

Published:  Fri, 18 May 2018 10:41:00 GMT

Column: Rethinking Social Security numbers in the modern age

WASHINGTON - Did you know that last fall at least ... To help protect Americans from identity theft, I have for years been dedicated to limiting the use of Social Security numbers. Military IDs no longer use Social Security numbers, and thanks to a ...

Published:  Fri, 18 May 2018 18:28:00 GMT

Importance of shredding important documents to prevent identity theft

The department is also warning w... Remains of girl missing since 2009 found in remote eastern Washington area Remains of girl missing since 2009 found in remote eastern Washington area GRAYS HARBOR, Wash. - Officials say the remains of a girl missing from ...

Published:  Thu, 10 May 2018 05:59:00 GMT

2 Syrian nationals indicted in pro-Assad hacking scheme

A federal grand jury returned an 11-count indictment charging Ahmad 'Umar Agha and Firas Dardar with conspiracy and aggravated identity theft. The indictment says ... accessed a computer server used by The Washington Post and created a false post on ...

Published:  Thu, 17 May 2018 15:16:00 GMT

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