Kitsap Crime and Justice

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One Central Kitsap Woman’s ID Theft Tale: ‘I Feel so Violated Right Now’

March 25th, 2009 by josh farley

Anna Williams has vowed never to use a credit card again.

The Central Kitsap resident was up skiing earlier this week, her American Express card happily in her wallet. When she came down from the mountain, she found that someone had somehow started using the card.

Williams, who works as a letter carrier for the post office, speculates that a waiter or waitress who’d taken her card to pay for a meal swiped the numbers from it. In any case, she’s become a victim of identity theft.

“I want people to know that this happens right here in Bremerton,” Williams said. “I feel so violated right now.”
She found out about it when she went to fill up her gas tank and the card got denied. When she called the company, they told her they believed someone was using it fraudulently.

She doesn’t know how much money they were able to spend on it, and is hoping the charges will be waived. After she spoke with me she said she planned on filing a report with the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office.

ID Theft is still a huge problem around the country. To learn about such thefts through the eyes of a thief, check out our special report.

For tips on how to deter, detect or defend against ID theft, go to the Federal Trade Commission’s web site. There’s a ton of useful information.

I also plan to follow up with Anna and see if she was able to get her money back.

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4 Responses to “One Central Kitsap Woman’s ID Theft Tale: ‘I Feel so Violated Right Now’”

  1. oneunhappyresident Says:

    good luck anna. my wife found out from the credit card company that her card was used out of state to pay for someones utility bills. an investigator for the card company was doing nothing because the utility company denied the request to identify the person or persons. and advised my wife to just get over it. Local law enforcement took a report but one of the first questions was she sure she did not charge the card???? from 8 states away paying someone elses utility bills. are you kidding me?? we shouldnt have to defend our privacy and take the time and money to prove we were not at fault. http://www.ftc.gov has a complaint form, use it and write to every senator and congressperson to put in place something to help the victim. Goodness knows some shady lawyer is going to defend the suspect. No more providing, selling, bartering our credit information with spammers, mass mailers and other jack rabbits of society. If someone jumps on the “freedom of Information” band wagon i will scream! why would any business or entity need my personal information? if i wanted your services i would ask.

  2. Colleen Smidt Says:

    On March 10th (yes, just this month), my Visa Check Card number (not the card which was still in my wallet, just the number) decided to go on a trip to New York without my permission. It had a hankering to see several “Gas & Go” type marts along a major highway in the Syracuse area. First a $16 meal at McDonalds was charged to it so that it had a full tummy while embarking on its crime filled adventures.

    Thanks to a very vigilant Financial Institution that we belong to and a certain amount of separate monitoring that was in place, they only managed to get approximately $800 instead of the $1700 in actual charges. My husband headed to the nearest branch and I called the 1-800 number. Within minutes we had the cards shut down and cancelled. Besides the initial phone call, I spent about 10 minutes filling out online fraud forms and submitting them. All of the money was back in my account within 6 working days. My new cards arrived in 7 days and my financial institution waived the due date and late fees on a couple of payments that were due that week. They let me make the payments without penalty or interest when the money was back in my account.

    This is the first time we have ever been hit. What helped us, was an excellent long term clean record with our financial institution and both “paid for” and “self “ monitoring we have in place on our accounts. We continue to monitor all of our accounts and our credit scores.

  3. Michele Says:

    I am curious to know how these crooks can write down the Debit/Credit card number with expiry date and cvv code and make charges at McDonald’s or anywhere in person without the actual card. I was under the impression that you had to swipe the actual card and enter your pin number?

    On another note, what happened to me is someone went through Paypal and was somehow able to purchase goods using my savings account number. These items were shipped to an out of state address, from what I was told. I have never used Paypal and the process I had to go through in order to get my money back (over 2K) was amazing. First, it took some time trying to get Paypal to communicate with me and I ended up having to set up a Paypal account in order for them to communicate with me. It took close to a month to get my funds put back in my savings account. How they got my savings account number is also beyond my comprehension. I also wish I could have known who did this….

  4. Colleen Smidt Says:

    Michele, they are able to “dummy” up another card and change its stip on the back. So that when it is swiped, the account number that is charged is not the one that is on the actual card they are using but yours or mine instead. It is also pretty easy to manufacture a fradulent drivers license to go with it so that the name and face match if verification is necessary. Also when used or run as “credit” with or without cash back no pin number is necessary. That is how they abused mine.

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