Mar 11, 2011 Brian Bradley
Officials in Pittsfield Township, Michigan, are advising residents to be more judicious with their personal information following a spike in identity theft cases in the area, AnnArbor.com reports. The town's police department acknowledged that five residents in one subdivision were recently victimized when their credit card numbers and other personal information were exposed. According to the town's police chief, all of the cases were brought to light within the same month, motivating the police to include the cases in their weekly public safety summary. All of the cases were reported in late February, stemming from incidents including the theft of a woman's purse, the criminal altering of a resident's mailing address and remote changes to a resident's credit card account, among other activity. The Pittsfield Township police department will also hold a seminar that will outline many ways individuals can protect themselves against identity theft, including educating residents on what to look for when shopping online. Opposite action is taking place in Minnesota, where residents are beginning to question the veracity of identity theft protection payments made to local banks. Minnesota Public Radio reports an increase in public questioning about the practice and its effectiveness.