Identity thieves find a new way to dupe victims

Identity thieves find a new way to dupe victims

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla.- WINK News uncovers a new twist on identity theft. Thieves are stopping your mail and we found out why. It happened to a Naples man and now detectives say you need to watch out.

“It is a hassle,” said Captain Rod Bishop with the Collier County Sheriff’s Office. “Trying to fix everything, getting the mail started.”

Captain Bishop knows first hand about identity theft. He not only heads up the financial crimes bureau at the Collier County Sheriff’s Office, but his own parents were victims.

“We also noticed they were not getting their mail,” said Capt. Bishop.

WINK News uncovered his parents case wasn’t the only one. Their case happened in January, but just this week, Naples Police had a report where a man’s identity was stolen and the criminal stopped his mail too.

“That delays anything coming to us, so we wouldn’t catch it,” said Captain Bishop.

We did some digging and found out these are the only two instances in Collier County. WINK News contacted the U.S. Postal Service and talked with an investigator in Tampa. He said he’d never heard of anything like this before. Captain Bishop says its another way criminals are targeting victims and to pay attention if your mail suddenly stops.

“You gotta do little things to protect yourself,” said Captain Bishop.

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office says you can protect your information by shredding all important documents that show personal, financial or medical information before you throw them away. Don’t respond to email, text or phone messages that ask for personal information and check your credit report regularly.

If your identity is stolen, the Federal Trade Commission recommends you call one of the credit reporting companies; Experian (1-888-397-3742), Equifax (1-800-525-6285) or TransUnion (1-800-680-7289) and place a fraud alert on your credit file. Then, order a free credit report from each agency and make a police report.

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