News & Resources

Identity theft occurring more frequently in Minnesota

Oct 06, 2012 Dave King

When consumers become victims of identity theft, they may not realize anything is amiss for some time. Then, bills for fraudulent purchases start coming in, they cannot open a new line of credit and debt collection agents become involved. These people have got to enlist consumer credit bureaus, law enforcement and company owners to set the record straight. Many people in the Forest Lake, Minnesota, area are having to deal with personal data theft with more frequency, as a crime ring has been attacking the community lately. 10 thefts in one neighborhood
According to KMSP-TV, residents of the Everten Trail Circle neighborhood have been struck by identity thieves in high numbers recently. The source explained 10 area women found themselves victims of the crime, as a robber took out dozens of credit cards using their names and personal data. All together, the women have experienced a combined loss of around $100,000. Law enforcement agents are looking into why the crime seems to be central to a small neighborhood, and told KMSP that the crime has been ongoing for two weeks. They estimate there may be up to eight more victims, and note similarities to cases in Illinois, Louisiana and Texas. Forest Lake detective Darren McDonald told individuals at a community meeting on September 20 that he believes the thieves stole the data from a central database, and said maybe mortgages or other information central to residences is involved, according to WTCN-TV. The criminals were able to find the victims' social security numbers and credit card data, the source noted. How lenders can help
Short term lenders in the Forest Lake area should be on the lookout for borrowers attempting to use false information from the victims of the recent criminal ring. Companies in the area need to follow best practices when verifying identities before they dole out loans. This may be particularly important, because some of the victims could attempt to take out short term loans while they wait for their cases to be rectified. As such, lenders should look into tools that ensure identity. There are many available - for example, Microbilt's ID Authenticate. This solution provides lenders with answers to questions they can pose to potential borrowers - the state from which their Social Security Number was issued, the countries they have lived in and what vehicles the person owns, for example.