Identify thefts lead to big bill and jail mixup

COVINGTON – Law enforcement agencies are receiving more and more complaints about identity theft of varying kinds. Two recent reports in Newton County dealt with a large amount of money and a criminal record.

The first report occurred on July 15. The victim in Covington told a Newton County Sheriff’s Office deputy that he had received a phone call from a law firm in Lawrence, Mass., acting as a collection agency. They stated that he owed $4,065.96 to Verizon.

The victim said he called Verizon and was told that between December 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015, someone had used his identification information and opened four cell phone accounts with Verizon. When the debt went unpaid, the account went to the collection agency.

The victim filed the report for legal purposes.

The second incident was reported on July 18. The victim told a deputy that he had been online and seen where a man he used to go to bars with was in jail in Tulsa, Okla. He said when he pulled the man’s jail photo up, the victim’s name was listed under the photo.

The victim told the deputy he was worried that the man had stolen his name and that he would be wanted. The deputy checked the man’s name on national law enforcement databases for warrants, and the check came back negative.

The victim told the deputy that soon after, his name was removed from under the jail photo.


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