In parts one and two of our ID Theft series, the focus was on an outsider taking your money. Today our guest editor, Judge Kathy Brown Valencia, focuses on a different aspect of ID theft. What if a member of your business team uses ID Theft to place the blame on your business?
We urge all our clients who own or manage a business to read the case study below.
Identity Fraud Involving an Employer
The previous entries on identity fraud involved a (1) a mail scam and (2) voter identification theft. This week’s scam involves the theft of your identity in order to obtain employment— And the employment is obtained only for the purpose of stealing from the employer.
In one situation involving a local department store, a new applicant was hired to work at the check-out register.
The new applicant presented the full identifying information that was needed to be hired by the store—full name, social security number, home address, phone number, birthdate, license number, and other necessary documentation. The store hired the applicant.
Within a couple of days, the store recorded losses of money from the register of the new applicant/employee.
How they do it
Additionally, with a surveillance camera, the store was able to watch the new employee bag items for “friends” that were charged at lower prices than the actual price. For example, an item that actually cost $100.00 would be rung up for $10.00 instead. The theft was caught on camera for about 3 days stealing money and giving “sweetheart” deals to his fellow co-conspirators.
The police were called and, with the identifying information of the new employee in hand, the police went to the address of the new employee to arrest him. They thought they would have no trouble apprehending this suspect who was caught red-handed in multiple thefts over the few days that the suspect had worked for the department store.
However, when the police went to the residence to arrest the new employee, the man who came to the door and answered to the name of the new employee looked nothing like the man in the store surveillance cameras. The thief had stolen an innocent man’s identifying information and set him up to be arrested for the crimes. Luckily, the two men looked nothing alike, so the police did not arrest the innocent victim of the identity theft. If there had been some type of resemblance, this story could have had been much worse for the poor victim of the identity theft. To date, the thief has not been found, and as of the writing of this article, the actual identity of the thief is unknown.
As one of Fayette County’s Magistrate Judges, I am seeing more and more identity theft crimes.
If you have a story to tell, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, as the election is upon us, please visit my page at Facebook.com/kathybrownvalencia2020 for more information. I would appreciate your vote for my re-election.