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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.


IRS Identity Theft Criminal ProsecutionsPlummet By More Than Half In A Year

IRS criminal prosecutions for identity theft have plummeted by more than a half in a year ... Ted Knutson is one of the most experienced financial regulatory reporters in Washington. For years, he has ...

Published:  Wed, 14 Nov 2018 08:27:00 GMT

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

Delaware, Florida, Washington, D.C., and Oregon joined Nevada to make up the five most fraudulent states. Identity theft can cause a tremendous amount of damage to a person's finances, and cost them u...

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

National Treasury Employees Union: Credit Monitoring Contract for Data Breach Victims Expires Soon

WASHINGTON, Nov. 14-- The National Treasury ... more information about the status of their credit monitoring and identity theft insurance once the contracts for those services expire next month ...

Published:  Thu, 15 Nov 2018 06:42:00 GMT

Washington State Patrol detective violated woman's rights with ruse, hidden cameras, court rules

The Washington Disability Determination Services ... Because Whalen believed she had been a victim of identity theft, she invited McMullen into her home so she could provide him with contact ...

Published:  Tue, 13 Nov 2018 23:15:00 GMT

Indian ex-Tesla employee charged for embezzling $9.3mn, identity theft

The maximum sentence for aggravated identity theft is two years in prison and $250,000 fine ... A top Chinese diplomat yesterday, while addressing a press conference in Washington, said China has kept ...

Published:  Tue, 13 Nov 2018 01:37:00 GMT

Fraudster on trial for alleged scheme over his real identity

He allegedly left for Canada after he was indicted in California in 2001 for a fraud scheme involving identity theft and illegal access devices. Assistant U.S. Attorney Nick Chase said in court docume...

Published:  Tue, 13 Nov 2018 11:07:00 GMT

With a new CEO, a Portland-area tech mainstay aggressively courts consumers

The company this week added new features to the platform that address financial identity theft and fraud. Consumers can purchase ... opened a since-closed office in Washington, D.C., and boosted reven...

Published:  Wed, 14 Nov 2018 08:07:00 GMT

Breach at Washington state surgery center affects 2,393 patients

the surgery center is offering credit monitoring and identity theft restoration services from an unnamed credit firm. All patients of the practice, which is part of the Peace Health delivery system se...

Published:  Mon, 12 Nov 2018 13:33:00 GMT

Phishing Attack Exposes Patient Records in Washington

(TNS) - The Southwest Washington Regional Surgery Center in Vancouver has ... The center is offering free enrollment in a credit monitoring and identity theft restoration service for impacted patients ...

Published:  Wed, 14 Nov 2018 12:17:00 GMT

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