Identity Theft in the Valley

Meg Gatto
9/13/2007 – According to the Staunton Police Department, one in three people will be victims of identity theft once in their lifetime.

The number of fake e-mails asking for personal information being sent to people is on the rise. Cpl. Kristie Siron says these e-mail are one of the easiest ways people’s identities can be stolen.

She says, “You’re entering your password, your mothers maiden name, whatever. The information they’re asking you for; the site looks so real, you think it’s the actual bank site or I recently got one from IRS so unless you solicited the information, don’t click on it.”

Siron says crimes of opportunity are common in the city of Staunton and people often don’t realize their information has been taken before it’s too late.

She says, “A lot of times in this area, it’s because you thought you’ve got it in your pocket, but it didn’t end up there and the next person coming along just picks it up and they’re tempted to use it. So it’s a crime of opportunity there as well.”

In order to help inform citizens and keep them from becoming victims of identity theft, the police department is looking to get the word out.

Siron says, “We offer crime prevention classes that will come out, speak to your community group, your church group at no charge. Just give us a call here at the police department and we’ll come out and provide you with some information.”

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