Law enforcement officials cautioned Santa Clarita Valley residents to be wary of their own personal finances as a recent identity theft investigation case continues
Investigators from the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department’s Fraud and Cyber Crimes Bureau recently served an arrest warrant at an identity thief’s home, and found about $800,000 in cash.
The case is currently being investigated, but county residents are being cautioned to protect their personal information.
Over 12 million U.S. adults fell victim to identity theft in 2014, with over 1 million of them being California residents, according to the state’s Department of Justice. Though the numbers have begun to decrease over time, law enforcement officials continue to encourage residents to be aware of their finances.
Identity thieves use a range of different methods to steal identities, such as using credit card skimmers, or devices used to steal information via card readers and other ATM devices, hacking into databases and even tricking individuals into giving them personal information through malware or phone scams.
Once thieves have identity information, they can use it to make fake identities, take out loans or sell the information to other criminals.
Some of the tips that the LASD Fraud and Cyber Crimes Bureau offer residents are:
-Monitor banking credit;
-Monitor bank/credit card activity for suspicious activity or transactions;
-Change online passwords several times a year, especially for financial accounts;
-Use strong and complex passwords;
-Keep computer operating systems up to date;
-Only give out personal identifiable information (date of birth, address, social security number, etc.) when necessary; and
-Do not post personal information on social media.
Anyone with information about the ongoing investigation of the recent identity theft case is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Fraud and Cyber Crimes Bureau, Captain Christopher Cahhal at (562) 946-7201. Or if you wish to remain anonymous call “LA Crime Stoppers” by dialing 800-222-TIPS (8477), use your smartphone by downloading the “P3 Tips” mobile app for FREE or “P3 Mobile” for the hearing impaired, or by using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org.