Sandra Yi ReportingAuthorities say it's the fastest growing crime in the country, and you could be the next victim. Utah's Attorney General says identity theft is an epidemic -- and disturbingly, this state is one of the leaders when it comes to the crime.
At a news conference this afternoon, US Attorney Paul Warner announced the creation of the 'Identity Theft Task Force'. It's a coordinated effort by federal, state and local agencies.
Kevin Fryslie, FBI Acting Special Agent in Charge: “The reason we have this task force is because this type of crime cuts across all levels of society.”
Paul Warner, U.S. Attorney: “As of today in Utah, identity theft is the wrong crime at the wrong time. We’re getting very aggressive at going after it.”
Warner says the task force will aggressively investigate and prosecute identity theft. Just today, a federal grand jury returned indictments against 25 people for various identity theft crimes.
One of them is 32-year old Kimberly Bailey, who is accused of using a fake ID to buy a car and furniture. Investigators say the total loss is more than $70,000.
Authorities say one in nine adults is a victim. So how can we protect ourselves? Here are some tips from the Post Master:
Protect your valuables, never leave anything in your car.
Be aware of your old identifications. Shred or lock them up.
Also, be cautious about any personal information you give out.
Protect your mail.
If you're mailing a check, hand it directly to your mail carrier or drop it off at a work mailbox.
The task force is working on a website that will include information for victims. It should be up and running in a few months.