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      February 18, 2019

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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.


FHP: Traffic stop leads to more than 100 felony identity theft charges

Derron Skinner, 27, and Erik Castaneda, 37, both of the Houston,Texas area, were arrested and taken to the Washington County Jail on 133 felony charges related to identity theft. Troopers said the inv...

Published:  Sun, 10 Feb 2019 13:42:00 GMT

AG urges feds to continue identity theft rules

The attorneys general suggest that Identity Theft Rules are essential in reducing the harm ... Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin.

Published:  Thu, 14 Feb 2019 08:00:00 GMT

Frosh signs letter to strengthen identity theft rules

The letter cites the proliferation of identity theft in many states and the growth in technology ... Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Published:  Thu, 14 Feb 2019 21:19:00 GMT

Police log: February 18

Williams, 35, of the 300 block of Washington Street, possession of a controlled substance and defiant trespass. Lawanda D. Gomez, 43, of the 100 block of Upland Avenue, theft, access device fraud, unl...

Published:  Mon, 18 Feb 2019 02:08:00 GMT

Identity protection PIN program expands

and are not currently victims of tax return identity theft. The pilot program originally involved Washington, D.C., Florida, and Georgia. IP PINs will now be available in seven more states: California ...

Published:  Fri, 08 Feb 2019 09:57:00 GMT

Ex-Jackson Co. Official Pleads Guilty In Fraud, ID Theft

WASHINGTON (LEX 18) - Federal authorities said Tuesday that a former Jackson County treasurer pleaded guilty to charges involving fraud and identity theft. The U.S. Department of Justice said 38 ...

Published:  Tue, 05 Feb 2019 07:17:00 GMT

Queens Woman Stole Resident's Identity: Garden City Police

She was charged with multiple counts of identity theft, forgery and larceny ... Officers conducted a traffic stop investigation on Washington Avenue on Feb. 3 where the driver, a 35-year-old ...

Published:  Wed, 06 Feb 2019 11:39:00 GMT

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