UPDATED: Wednesday, August 22, 2012 --- 6:45 p.m.
The FBI is now investigating ID theft cases in Wisconsin linked to victims and suspects in other states.
The Sun Prairie Police Department has identified at least 20 cases of identity theft this summer. The victims all live in the same neighborhood on the east side near Gas Light Dr. Suspects from other states have stolen more than $150,000, mostly by opening credit accounts at large retail stores.
Earlier this month, detectives in Sun Prairie began collaborating with their counterparts in Madison after they found a cluster of similar ID theft patterns at similar retailers in the same states.
Now law enforcement groups have identified more victims in the Madison area, as well as around Milwaukee and in Ohio. They are withholding the specifics to not alert the suspects.
Experts say it commonly takes ID theft victims 200 hours of work to clear the work of criminals, and they are often not able to recover all of the funds.
Posted: Thursday, August 9, 2012 --- 4:42p.m.
Release from Sun Prairie Police Department:
The Sun Prairie Police Department has received similar reports of Identity Theft and Fraud in late July and early August of 2012. To date we have received reports of 11 incidents on two adjacent streets in Sun Prairie. Those streets include Gas Light Drive and Willow Brook Trail on the east side of the City of Sun Prairie.
In most cases, the identity of victims was used to open fraudulent accounts at large retail locations such as Macy’s, Sam’s Club, Best Buy, Victoria’s Secret and others. The purchases have been made primarily in the states of Texas, Arizona, and Georgia. The total loss to retailers exceeds $100,000.
Our Department has been working with the Madison Police Department on similar cases in their jurisdiction which were also confined to a small geographical area. We are also attempting to collaborate with Federal agencies due to the large geographical area involved.
The Sun Prairie Police Department encourages all residents to take advantage of their free annual credit report from Experian, Equifax, and Transunion. You should be monitoring your credit report for any unauthorized or fraudulent activity. We also encourage you to keep your Social Security number private, safeguard your mail, and shred discarded documents with sensitive information. Additional tips and videos from the Federal Trade Commission can be found at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/consumers/consumer-publications.html
Victims of identity theft may file reports with the Federal Trade Commission at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/ and the Internet Crime Complaint Center at http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx. This case is ongoing and we encourage residents to contact the Sun Prairie Police Department at 608-837-7336 if they feel they may be the victim of Identity Theft and/or Fraud.