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      September 22, 2018

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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.


Albertan, two B.C. men arrested in "śmassive' cases of identity theft

RCMP allege that Kuch Hengleap Khun, 37, was caught on Aug. 12 when he mistakenly entered Washington state through ... of sophisticated fraud and identity theft committed across Canada by Khun.

Published:  Wed, 12 Sep 2018 16:07:34 GMT

Security freezes on credit files are free starting today

said Mike Litt, consumer campaign director of the U.S. Public Interest Research Group in Washington, D.C. Until today ... freezing his credit files in this era of rampant fraud and identity theft. Fre...

Published:  Fri, 21 Sep 2018 02:05:00 GMT

DCSO attempts to notify dozens of victims of identity fraud after 3 arrested

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office said it's in the process of identifying and notifying more than 66 different potential identity theft victims after three ... outstanding misdemeanor warrant throug...

Published:  Thu, 20 Sep 2018 13:46:00 GMT

Man sentenced for using stolen identity to defraud Medicare

Federal prosecutors say 51-year-old Jose Agosto, of Worcester, was sentenced Tuesday after pleading guilty in January to charges including wire fraud, misusing a Social Security number, and aggravated ...

Published:  Wed, 19 Sep 2018 05:23:00 GMT

Hezbollah financier arrested in Brazil

Brazilian police on Friday arrested a man designated by the US Treasury Department as a high-ranking Hezbollah financier after neighboring Paraguay sought his detention on identity theft charges ... a...

Published:  Fri, 21 Sep 2018 12:31:00 GMT

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