We normally think of Identity Theft as opening accounts in the victim’s name but this story from the Nashville, Tennessee news station of WKRN reminds us that the thief can actually take over our identity and do bad things in our name:
[Dahlstrom] received a notice that a credit card application had been rejected but he hadn’t applied for a card.
Over the next ten years, Dahlstrom was told he had crashed a rental car, run up a host of unpaid parking tickets, and was involved in a hit-and-run accident.
Just this last year, Dahlstrom received word from his local police department that there was a warrant for his arrest in California.
Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo says this is not your typical identity theft, saying, “Traditional identity theft I think all of us think of as financial fraud, credit card fraud. That is very common but this is one of the most serious types, where an individual steals your identity and goes out and commits crimes in your name.”
Even though the man that stole Dahlstrom’s identity has been apprehended, Dahlstrom continues the struggle to clear his name.
Dahlstrom is only one of an estimated nine million victims of identity theft each year. Officials say that many more people have had their identity’s stolen and don’t even know it yet.
Delgadillo says that identity theft is very serious and the damage it does to individuals is significant. As technology advances there will be new and increasingly sophisticated ways for a determined criminal to become someone else, possibly you.
The lesson is if you even suspect you have been the victim of Identity Theft, you need to take immediate action. While this blog has primarily addressed the civil side, we will have more posts in the future addressing the criminal side of clearing your good name.
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