Identity Theft

One of the biggest scams and fastest growing crimes is Identity Theft. This is when the crooks get your Social Security number, and other important financial numbers and take over your entire financial identity.

The crook gets credit cards and accounts in your name and runs up major bills. Some crooks have even bought cars and condos in the victim’s name.

Most of the time you will never know you were a victim for about 60 days, and by that time your good credit has been wiped out. It may take years to correct your credit.

Here is an example of an Identity Theft Crime that I covered in Beverly Hills for CBS’ 48-Hours News Magazine. Judd McIlvain’s latest investigation exposed a former Russian school teacher who was living in L.A. and using 59 different identities. She even had plastic surgery to make her look more like her victims. This woman, in her 40’s, would steal people’s credit histories and then run up so many purchases that most victims would have to declare bankruptcy.

Judd and CBS’s 48 Hours producer worked with Beverly Hills Police and the DMV. She was caught and is now in jail. The victim became extremely worried when the imposter bought life insurance in her name. The only way the crook could collect on life insurance was if the victim of the identity theft were dead. That’s when we got the police to move faster and catch this imposter.