Nichole Hannahs

Fighting Identity Theft

by Nichole Hannahs on September 17, 2013 at 7:18 am

A year ago Attorney General Mike DeWine decided to help Ohioans suffering from identity theft.

The Attorney General said he decided to make it a priority to tackle these crimes when it became clear many Ohioans were becoming victims of the schemes. Even his own daughter fell victim. One reason the crime is easily committed is the emergence of telemarking and an act that allows criminals to call from local numbers.

"They do what we now call spoofing," said DeWine. "They can someway electronically send that number up there so you think it’s a local call, but in fact they’re off shore. They’re somewhere else."

As part of these acts they sometimes ask for money to be wired electronically, many time pretending to be a family member in distress. DeWine said once the money is wire there’s little he can do to get it back and finding these scammers proves difficult.

"It’s hard to catch the person. Sometimes they are over seas. Even if they are in this country they don’t go and collect the money themselves. They’ll find a homeless person or someone on the street. They’ll give them $20, say here’s your identification, go collect this money."

DeWine said the act of reestablishing your identity can be a lengthy process. His office offers a step by step guide on their website for ways to reclaim your identity. They’ll even help walk you through the process if you call their office.