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Identity Theft

May 24, 2010 | By Sharon Bernstein, Los Angeles Times
With identity fraud on the increase, the federal government is stepping up efforts to make sure businesses are on the alert — especially financial institutions and other companies that issue credit cards. The government says that businesses have the responsibility of making sure thieves don't use stolen information to buy goods or open phony accounts. And to that end, the Federal Trade Commission wants businesses that might be targets of identity thieves to develop written plans to spot "red flags" that fraud could be involved and prevent it. Starting June 1, all businesses that extend credit to customers will have to develop plans to try to prevent identity theft.
September 3, 2003 | From Times Wire Reports
Mail theft is on the rise in parts of Santa Cruz County, prompting authorities to warn residents about the threat of identity theft. The theft of mail is up in some south county and San Lorenzo Valley areas, said Det. Kim Allyn, spokesman for the Sheriff's Office. Identity theft commonly involves the theft of checks, credit or debit cards or the personal identification to obtain them. Common ways to gain such items or information are mail theft and theft of wallets or purses in auto break-ins.
January 26, 2002
A Thousand Oaks woman who used another person's name and credit card number to buy more than $2,500 worth of goods and services online was convicted of identity theft, the county district attorney's office said Friday. Fiona Jane Lyon, 43, set up an Internet credit card account in her victim's name, investigators said. She then purchased landscaping material, computer equipment and a video camera.
September 13, 2006 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Placer County sheriff's officials have arrested a 32-year-old Sheridan woman on suspicion of using the identities of 750 people to purchase hundreds of thousands of dollars in goods from Wal-Mart stores. Stefani Ruland was booked Monday on identity theft, burglary and grand theft charges. She allegedly took personal information off the Internet.
June 28, 1998
The California Legislature has been ahead of Washington in protecting consumers against the worsening problem of identity theft--the unauthorized use of someone else's personal information for financial gain. For instance, Sacramento made identity theft a state crime last year, while Congress is still fiddling with a bill to make it a federal crime. But still, according to the state Department of Consumer Affairs, California is the nation's "identity theft capital." More protection is needed.
July 14, 2002 | From Times Staff Reports
A man accused of using a false identity to purchase goods via the Internet has pleaded guilty to identity theft in Ventura County Superior Court, authorities said. Eddie Eloy Simental , 34, of Pico Rivera used the identity of a Thousand Oaks attorney to purchase computer equipment valued at $4,500, according to the Ventura County district attorney's office. The purchases were traced to a home in Santa Fe Springs, where detectives arranged to be present when one of the orders was delivered.
December 21, 2006 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
An arrest warrant has been issued for a man suspected of stealing the identity of an Army judge advocate general officer to illegally practice law in Southern California. Rigoberto Vazquez, 39, appeared on behalf of clients in a number of L.A.-area courts, prosecutors said Wednesday. Vazquez assumed the identity of Maj. Robert Vasquez, who is licensed to practice law in California but never has, Deputy Dist. Atty. Thomas Wenke said. Vazquez was charged Dec.
September 19, 2000 | From Times Wire Reports
Hoax letters have been mailed to elderly black people across the South over the last three weeks, telling them they may be eligible for $5,000 in slave reparations or Social Security reimbursements. The letters, which include requests for Social Security numbers, are apparently part of a scam aimed at stealing people's identities and running up credit bills under their names, Arkansas Atty. Gen. Mark Pryor said.
November 27, 2011 | Liz Weston, Money Talk
Dear Liz: A large safe containing our passports, Social Security cards, birth certificates, checks and credit cards was stolen from our home several days ago. We notified our bank and credit card companies. Is there an advantage to requesting new Social Security numbers? If we do this, would it affect our credit in any way? Answer: New Social Security numbers wouldn't necessarily protect you from identity theft and could create additional complications. Thieves might still be able to use your old numbers to establish new accounts, and those fraudulent accounts could show up in your credit reports.
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