Ohio: Alarming increase in identity theft cases

11:25 AM, Dec 22, 2010   |    comments
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  • Anything that requires state licensing falls under Ohio State Highway Patrol jurisdiction.

    In 2010, troopers investigated 100 percent more identity fraud cases than they did last year.

    It is the largest percentage increase in any type of crime the OSP handles.

    "The trend we see now is it's real documents. They've just been tampered with or people are using someone else's actual documents," Ohio State Patrol Lt. Joe Mannion said.

    Stolen identities are used for many things. Emptying your bank account and ruining your credit are jst a few.

    The OSP has always been in the stolen identity investigation business but it was just this year that OSP held 11 seminars trying to teach its patrol officers how to spot fraudulent documents.

    Troopers have investigated 373 cases of identity fraud since January.

    Where do these counterfeit documents come from? Many cases lead investigators straight back to the deputy registrars charged with keeping Ohio drivers honest.

    "We've had cases where the deputy registrar is dirty, taking payments, or a clerk in hard times taking bribes," Lt. Mannion said.

    Ultimately, just like bogus charge cards, can ruin your good credit. A fraudulent license can ruin your good driving record.

    Here's just a couple more statistics that might remind you to keep your private information close.

    About 11.7 million people were victims of identity theft between 2006 and 2008, according to the Bureau of Justice statistics.

    The estimated financial loss is $17 billion.


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