Troubleshooters: Illinois ranks high for identity theft cases

Identity theft and fraud.

It’s constantly happening around the world…and in Illinois. A new report ranks our state in the top 15.

For many of us, life is hectic and things can change in the blink of an eye. Like your identity. All of a sudden, someone can steal it.

A recent WalletHub report ranks the land of Lincoln 13th when it comes to vulnerability for identity theft and fraud.

The Identity Theft Resource Center’s most recent data breach report shows between January 1, 2005 and August 31 of this year, there were close to 9400 breaches and more than 1.1 billion records compromised.

Jessica Tharp with the Better Business Bureau says it’s important to remember that it’s not just you and I who are subject to identity theft or fraud…businesses are too.

The most common? Fake checks.

“Why are scams so successful these days? It really comes down to that human behavior of greed honestly. We have to have that resource of the cash prize or whatever it may be,” said Tharp.

Tharp says at the same time, scams like the grandparent or IRS scam are based on fear. And then there’s social media…one of the latest ways people are falling victim to identity theft.

Peoria County Sheriff Brian Asbell says the biggest thing right now is the warrant scam.

Someone will call and say you have a warrant because you missed jury duty. And the sheriff says everyone is being targeted.

Sheriff Asbell says his detectives deal with this situation every day. Identity theft and fraud becoming more and more common. He calls it crippling.

“This will haunt you for years. It’s going to haunt your credit report rating. These are things you’re going to have to prove and fight with the credit bureaus,” said Asbell.

And Asbell says many of these scammers aren’t in the United States, many times federal authorities take over the investigations.

The sheriff encourages you to check your statements every month, looking for anything out of the ordinary.

Many times scammers start with a small amount to get their feet wet.

Jessica Cook

Jessica Cook

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