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Identity thieves strike Stoughton

By: Phil Levin Email
By: Phil Levin Email

POSTED Thursday, June 27, 2013 --- 9:30 p.m.
Reporter: Phil Levin

Detectives are still investigating how identity thieves took advantage of several neighbors in Stoughton months after the crimes were first reported.

This year Westview residents began receiving credit cards and bills in the mail for store accounts they did not open and products they did not purchase.

Stoughton Police say identity thieves are charging about $3,000 per victim at stores across the country including Best Buy, Kohl's, and Walmart. Besides expensive electronics, the thieves are also buying cell phone plans and gift cards.

"Each one of their identies was used in different parts of the country, by different people," said Det. Allen Adams. "I think there is a list out there somewhere that grouped people geographically, and that's why you're seeing it in neighborhoods."

Adams says the only arrest so far came after a a woman in Chicago Heights was caught by a Kohl's security camera.

"Literally within days I got Best Buy, I got Saks Fifth Avenue stuff in the mail, I got J C Penney stuff in the mail, Macy's, Victoria's Secret," said Randy Rozema. "I would say in the matter of two weeks I had 60 hours invested in calling various retailers and dealing with the credit reporting agencies."

Adams says it is tough to catch the identity thieves because by the time victims get a bill for the fraudulent charges store security cameras may already be erased. He says it may be even tougher to find whoever likely sold the identity information. While investigators look into accounts all the neighbors share, Adams says it is also possible the information could have been sold by someone with access to a company or credit database almost anywhere in the world.

You may be able to spot fraudulent charges early by checking your credit report. The FTC explains how to get free copies of your three reports and what to do if you become an identity theft target.


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