Collaborating with the UC Irvine Police Department, Irvine Police Department and the Orange County district attorney’s office, the UCI Student Center presented a seminar on ‘Identity Theft’ on March 4. This two-hour seminar covered the fastest growing crime in America, and explained why everyone should be aware of this.
Al Brown, the chief of the UC Irvine Police Department and David Maggard, the chief of the Irvine Police Department, introduced the presenters.
Tony Rackauckas, the Orange County district attorney, followed by speaking about the problems involved with identity theft.
‘Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America,’ explained Rackauckas. ‘Last year alone, identity thieves stole $5 billion from its victims.’
Rackauckas explained how these thieves would use an alias to obtain all kinds of things: loans, medical services, credit cards, cars and much more.
After Rackauckas gave the introduction he was followed by Damon Tucker, an investigator for the Orange County district attorney’s office, and Joe Monroe, a detective from the Irvine Police Department, who together described how crooks are able to get other people’s identities.
‘Mail theft, where suspects cruise neighborhoods and take your outgoing or incoming mail; dumpster diving, where suspects go to dumpsters and steal info with your personal information; and on the Internet you can learn how to steal anyone’s identity, how to make holograms and state seals and how to open a bank account without a Social Security number,’ Tucker said.
Monroe said when someone has your name and Social Security number, he could do a multitude of things.
‘A crook can open lines of credit, increase existing lines of credit, gain employment, obtain a driver’s license, drain bank accounts, commit crimes under assumed names, sell your profile, purchase cars, homes, computers, finance drugs, gang activity and other crimes, ruin a victim’s credit or potential credit, rent an apartment and open a P.O. Box,’ Monroe said.
After the presentation, Mike McCarthy, an inspector for the U.S. Postal Service, went over some of the other common scams that other criminals may try.
McCarthy elaborated on scholarship and similar schemes, from college admissions schemes, credit card and credit repair schemes, to Internet schemes