Several residents of Edgemoor were recently the victims of major identity theft. A significant amount of money was wired from their credit union to an account in NJ. Just before the final wire was sent to the recipient’s account, the credit union employee noted that the phone number was not listed on any of the customer’s contact information. She called them and confirmed that they had not issued the transfer.
Because the wire was across state lines, and because of the large sum wired, the FBI is now involved. What we’ve learned is that the thief had their names, birth dates and possibly one maiden name. The FBI confirmed that there has been a significant number of these identity thefts in our area recently, but this was the first at this credit union. The FBI noted that in several of the cases victims had recently had their mailboxes broken into or damaged.
Here’s the part that may involve more of you: Several weeks ago, one snowy day, this resident came out one morning and noted that there were swerving tire tracks in the road, all the way up Fieldston. They thought it was odd, very noticeable. Then, they noted the pattern lined up perfectly to each mailbox on their street. They also noted they did not receive any mail that day, which was very unusual. They now believe it was stolen and reported this to the police as part of the ongoing investigation into the identity theft. It is very important that all of us watch our mail very carefully and report anything suspicious regarding the mailboxes in our neighborhood.
You should also be extremely vigilant regarding any emails you receive asking for personal information. There is currently a very authentic looking, sophisticated email being sent, allegedly from Comcast, asking customers to update their account. The police informed us that it is “the best one they’ve seen”. The email is bit questionable, but the website link that it sends you to has all the “bells and whistles” that would make you think it is Comcast. Once you enter your personal information, a criminal has it.
Please be aware of identity theft and take measures to protect yourself. Shred documents containing personal information and take mail containing checks directly to the Post Office. Be certain the person or company you give out personal information to are legitimate. Someone doesn’t have to get in to your home to steal from you…