ID Theft is a Big Problem in the Valley

April 28, 2008 9:39:57 AM PDT
The Valley ranks among the worst areas in the nation when it comes to identity theft.Identity theft cases flood Valley police departments with investigators struggling to keep up. Fresno Police Department alone handles 4,800 reports of identity theft each year!

Earlier this month Fresno Police arrested 34-year-old Aida Hernandez for hacking into 319 bank accounts and passing bad checks. "They get a piece here, a piece there, and make a new person out of the little bits and pieces they got out of two different people," said Fresno Police Detective Heather Ground, "All you need is a printer and computer and you've got checks."

All the while many victims are completely unaware.

ABC 30 intern Juanita Adame has no idea how somebody in New York got a hold of her information. "I went to do my taxes and they told me that somebody had already used my social and they had filed a tax return under my name." Now her time is consumed with damage control: checking and rechecking her credit report.

New credit monitoring services such as "Lifelock" offer to do all that and more for you. "We're going to put that preventative line of defense in place. We're going to discourage those identity thieves. When they go out and apply for credit they're going to get turned down. They're typically going to move on to easier prey," said Lifelock CEP Todd Davis.

But that peace of mind comes at a price, $10-dollars a month.

Should you pay or pocket that money?

Monday night Live At Five Action News asks, "Is that peace of mind worth paying for? What do you get for 10-dollars a month?" And we'll tell you how to do some of those things to protect yourself for free.


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