In Des Moines, Iowa, a women's group announced it knows how Shelley Bridges gained the identities of dozens of victims, KCCI 8 Des Moines reports.
Since the turn of the millennium, identity theft
cases have skyrocketed, most of which are a result of the vast and increased usage of the internet. Since 2001, identity theft
complaints have risen by nearly 300 percent, according to the Federal Trade Commission. However, in Bridges' case, she obtained the information from paper documents. Visitors had to write down their names, social security numbers and birthday dates in order to gain entry to the Women at the Well, a United Methodist congregation within the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women in Mitchellville. Although the group in charge of handling these documents felt they were secured, they were found among Bridges' personal items, the news source states. "Over the past few weeks, we have become aware of identity theft
affecting some persons who joined in worship in past years with our congregation," Women at the Well said in a statement. "A person’s identity and reputation are matters of sacred import. We have expressed and continue to extend our deep concern to those affected. Our prayers of healing and renewal go with all persons who may be affected in any way."