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Identity Theft in Wisconsin

Wisconsin MapIn 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.


Sauk County charges linked to multi-state identity theft ring

"I suspected it was Sara and Jacob Williams in the still images, because I was investigating a forgery/ID theft ring involving many victims throughout the State of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Delaware, & Fl...

Published:  Tue, 19 Feb 2019 14:37:00 GMT

Anti-Fraud initiatives saved WI taxpayers more than $416 million over 10 Years

According to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, its use of identity verification tools helped protect identity theft. "Identify verification is extremely important to us. It helps ensure that the id...

Published:  Mon, 18 Feb 2019 11:44:00 GMT

Local Police Warns Users to be Cautious While Using Free Wi-Fi

ALAMO - Police are warning residents about a new discrete way people are falling victims to identity theft. The Alamo Police Department is advising against using free Wi-Fi networks in public areas. L...

Published:  Tue, 19 Feb 2019 16:46:00 GMT

Warren Petryk: Beware of tax ID theft

With tax season in full swing the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection is reminding taxpayers to be on the lookout for fraud before it is too late. Unfortunately ...

Published:  Wed, 20 Feb 2019 10:23:00 GMT

Canadians increasingly concerned about fraud, identity theft

Canadians are more worried about fraud and identity theft today than they were five years ago ... CPA Canada says there is still room for improvement, though. Public Wi-Fi, for example, can pose a thr...

Published:  Thu, 21 Feb 2019 07:32:00 GMT

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