New Trend in Identity Theft

New Trend in Identity Theft

An alarming new trend in identity theft. And it's putting you and your money at risk. Thieves are searching for information in the trash cans of businesses. They're after personal information that can lead to your credit cards and bank information.
An alarming new trend in identity theft.

And it's putting you and your money at risk.

Thieves are searching for information in the trash cans of businesses.

They're after personal information that can lead to your credit cards and bank information.

Dumpsters are the latest hunting ground for criminals. Police know that first-hand from one of Fresno's top identity thieves.

'She was very forthcoming on how she does it," said Sgt. Sherree Flores with the Fresno Police Department.

Sgt. Flores says detectives interviewed a woman who's been committing identity theft for the last five years. She was recently arrested for fake identities.

"We found drivers licenses with her picture on it but other people's names. We found insurance paperwork that people had filled out, applications," Sgt. Flores said.

Sgt. Flores won't name the woman because she is about to go to trial.

The suspect told police how she commits her crimes - starting with information she's found in dumpsters behind office buildings, which she then uses to access credit reports.

"Once somebody has your credit report they have every account number, every bank account number that you have. And they can use existing credit as well as create new credit," Sgt. Flores said.

While we were interviewing Sgt. Flores, a woman walked up to police headquarters to file a report, because she was the victim of identity theft.

"I noticed over the weekend that some of my money was my balances were a little off" Rosa told us.

Rosa asked that we not show her face. She told us the thief accessed several of her accounts.

"Close to over two thousand, at least when I noticed it. A combination of checking and savings accounts and a credit card," Rosa said.

She had to take the day off work to close down her bank accounts and set up new ones.

"I know that we get very busy with our work schedules but take a couple of seconds and go online and check your balances," Rosa said.

Police recommend you check your credit report. Use the free credit reports for the three major credit monitoring agencies: TransUnion, Experian and Equifax.

And you can put alerts on your bank and credit card accounts. You should be able to do that on the businesses web site.

Businesses can shred documents free of charge at events sponsored by the Better Business Bureau. BBB Secure Your ID Days are scheduled for:
Visalia on June 7th
Hanford on September 13
Atwater on September 27
Kerman on October 18
and Fresno on October 25

For more information go to: http://www.bbb.org/central-california/programs-services/BBB-Secure-Your-Id-Day/
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